Tech entrepreneur partners with food and drink veteran to buy Glasgow delis

Technology entrepreneur Andrew Duncan has partnered with a veteran of the food and drink sector to purchase one of Scotland’s best-known deli/café brands. Duncan and Lee Fish, who formerly held the UK franchise for O’Briens sandwich cafés, have bought the remaining two Peckham’s branches in Glasgow, on Byres Road and Hyndland Road. The pair say they want to restore the brand to its former glory and are looking at re-opening a branch in Edinburgh also.

Duncan, founder and managing director of SwarmOnline, said he stumbled across the opportunity and broached the idea with Fish at a barbeque. “Lee and I first met through our local Round Table in Helensburgh and we discovered we shared many of the same ideas and ambitions in business. When I found out Peckham’s was for sale I felt that our combination of sector experience and tech expertise would be ideal to restore the company’s reputation in a hugely competitive market.

“SwarmOnline will develop the tech side of the business producing apps that will make it much more efficient, allowing us to make better informed decisions about stock and sales and making the customer experience unlike any other deli or café. This sort of technology is normally only used by the major supermarkets and corporates – we aim to be the most high tech deli in the country.”

Lee Fish and Andrew Duncan.

Fish currently owns Kitchen, a small chain of independent cafés in the west of Scotland, as well as running two O’Briens shops in Edinburgh and Newcastle. “Peckham’s has suffered from a lack of investment in recent years and we will address that immediately. We plan to completely reconfigure the Byres Road branch by the end of this year, followed by Hyndland Road with spending on the project likely to hit six figures.

“There is a terrific staff team of 18 across the two branches who have a passion to see the business succeed. We intend to revitalise stock lines and develop new relationships with producers, particularly in Scotland. We will also focus heavily on wine and hope to attract those who currently buy at supermarkets. Our service will be well informed, well priced and personal and we hope to bring in new customers as well as those who have perhaps abandoned Peckham’s. We will cater for every day items through to gourmet.”