Meet the entrepreneurs behind London's street food mecca

Henry Dimbleby and Jonathan Downey are the founders of London Union, which turns vacant spaces into bustling markets.

by Jack Torrance

Not many entrepreneurs have the audacity to value their business at more than £30m when it has only been trading for six months, but then not many new businesses have the kind of backers that London Union does.

The company, which converts derelict spaces into bustling street food markets, has captured the imagination of some of the biggest names in food. Its star-studded advisory board includes famous faces like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Yotam Ottolenghi and Thomasina Miers. It's the work of the well-renowned bar entrepreneur Jonathan Downey (who goes by JD) and Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the healthy fast food chain Leon.

In its first five months of trading over the summer, its three markets in trendy east London were visited by more than 300,000 people, generating revenues of £3.5m and EBITDA of £1.5m in just five months. Pretty impressive for such a young company, but then its origins do stretch back beyond this year.

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