School caterers Cucina Restaurants and Innovate Services have joined forces to create The Impact Food Group (IFG) following an investment to support its future growth by Bridges Fund Management, the specialist sustainable and impact investor.
The investment creates one of the largest specialist school catering groups in the UK. It will see the company provide catering services to nearly 200 primary and secondary schools across England, with combined annual sales of more than £35m.
Both Innovate and Cucina have been growing rapidly as independent companies and by combining their respective strengths within IFG, the goal is to build a best-in-class operator with even stronger potential for future growth.
As well as provide school meals, IFG will work with its schools to help build a positive food culture.
Founder of Cucina Steve Quinn said: “We truly believe that in Bridges we have found an organisation that shares Cucina’s simple business philosophy of serving as many children as possible restaurant-quality food – coupled with an unwavering belief that students who eat healthier food perform better and therefore do better in life. With the growth of multi academy trusts, Bridges are ideally placed to ensure we can continue to cater for the increasingly varied education marketplace.”
Bridges will provide ongoing funding and support enabling Cucina and Innovate to respond to the changing demands of educational catering and the developing needs of their clients.