54. Cook & Garcia

The independent sandwich shop making its mark in a sea of generic chains

Founder: Richard Garcia
Founded: August 2011
Website: www.cookandgarcia.co.uk

It isn’t uncommon to walk past three or four branches of the same high street coffee shop in almost as many minutes. While procuring a sandwich and caffeine fix in a lunch hour is certainly pretty easy in most town centres, there can be a distinct lack of variety. Enter Richard Garcia, whose business Cook & Garcia launched its first high street artisan sandwich shop in Richmond in May 2012. In little more than a year, and competing against the ubiquitous major chains, the outlet is averaging more than 300 customers a day; impressively over 40% of this figure is repeat custom. The appeal of Cook & Garcia’s offering was reinforced when it was named as the 2013 Best Independent Sandwich Bar in the UK at the British Sandwich Industry Awards. Now Garcia, who has a 25 year background in catering, is also opening a concession in Richmond and is looking at opening a second unit within the next year.