We are pleased to share that Mel Marriot, founder and managing director of Darwin & Wallace has been nominated for Wireless Social Women’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
Mel is a worthy candidate who deserves to personally be recognised for her excellent contribution to the leisure and hospitality industry.
We first started working with Mel in 2012 when our Imbiba Leisure EIS Fund backed her superb Darwin & Wallace idea. She wanted to build a contemporary bar and restaurant concept across London, which stood out and challenged the trend of mediocre, identikit “Gastropubs”. Over the past 6 years, Darwin & Wallace has done just that, producing a stylish array of addresses that feel like your home-from-home.
Darwin & Wallace is committed to developing contemporary bars and restaurants in affluent London ‘Villages’. The company has now opened six sites in the capital located in No.11 (Chelsea), No.32 (Clapham), No.197 (Chiswick), No.1 Duke Street (Richmond), and No.29 Power Station West (in the iconic redevelopment of Battersea Power Station). Most recently in Spring 2018, the sixth site in Wimbledon opened its doors at 601 Queens Rd.
Throughout the past 6 years, Darwin & Wallace has become multiple award-winning concepts. In 2017, the group was awarded the top accolade of Three Stars by the Sustainable Restaurant Association. In 2016, No 1 Duke Street Richmond has won both the 2016 Blue Badge Style Award for Best Budget Bar and Best Pub at the Bar and Restaurant Design Awards 2016.
Martin Sherwood has worked very closely with a wide range of Hospitality & Leisure entrepreneurs. Reflecting on Mel Marriot and Darwin & Wallace he said: “We often quote Mel and Darwin & Wallace as a great example of an EIS company – Profitable businesses, happy investors, satisfied customers, proud staff – it all adds up to a powerful cocktail!”.
About the award
Mel will be competing against 5 successful female leaders across the Leisure & Hospitality industry. They are Nisha Katona (Mowgli), Yasmine Larizadeh (Good Life Eatery), Pranee Laurillard (Giggling Squid), Raquel de Oliveira (Ceviche) and Joycelyn Neve (Seafood Pub Company). Wireless Social chief executive Julian Ross said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring this award for the UK’s top women entrepreneurs – they are making an incredible contribution to the vitality of the UK foodservice scene and recognition is long overdue.”
The winner will be announced at the Women’s Entrepreneur Conference, which takes place on Tuesday, 4 September at One Moorgate Place, London.
Darwin & Wallace are the most mature investee company benefiting from the Imbiba Leisure EIS Fund.