Renowned Indian restaurant Gymkhana has raised $3m (£2.5m) to bring its Michelin-starred food to the grocery channel.
The seed funding round – led by investment firm Cavu Consumer Partners – will back a retail rollout plan for the new brand following an exclusive launch in Whole Foods Market stores across London.
Gymkhana Fine Food was developed by Gymkhana owner JKS Restaurants in partnership with former Mars director Gulrez Arora.
Developed over several months, the initial range of eight products features four cooking sauces (butter masala, goan curry, rogan josh, and vindaloo), two marinades (classic tandoori and roasted garlic & chilli) and two chutneys (peanut & sesame and tandoori onion).
Arora, who spent more than 10 years at Mars and is CEO of Gymkhana Fine Foods, told The Grocer the mission of the launch was to introduce UK consumers to a premium Indian fine-dining experience at home, allowing them to recreate Michelin-starred dishes in “a few simple steps”.
He added the strategy was to launch across premium, specialty retailers and branded foodservice, before rolling out nationwide in the mainstream supermarkets next year, alongside an international push.
“Having spent the last decade building and working with iconic brands, I’m excited to partner with JKS to bring the magic of Gymkhana into consumers’ homes,” Arora said.
“With a shared vision in elevating how Indian food is enjoyed at home, Gymkhana Fine Foods delivers the ultimate at-home dining experience with recipes perfected in the kitchen of Gymkhana.”
Located in London’s Mayfair, Gymkhana was launched by JKS founders the Sethi family in 2013 and has held a Michelin star since 2014.
“The creation of Gymkhana Fine Foods has been driven by the same ambitions we had when first opening Gymkhana 10 years ago,” said JKS co-founder Karam Sethi.
“We want to offer an elevated and pure Indian dining experience that represents the true flavours of India. Each sauce, marinade and chutney requires the simple addition of just one ingredient – lamb, chicken, fish, paneer or vegetables – to easily recreate your own Gymkhana experience at home.”
Cavu’s Rohan Oza and Jared Jacobs will join Gymkhana Fine Food’s board as part of the investment.
“We believe Gymkhana’s modern, quality take on at-home Indian cuisine will not only redefine the category in the UK, but globally as well,” Oza said.
“Gymkhana Fine Foods brings the culinary excellence of the iconic London restaurant with the convenience and quality consumers seek in their own kitchens,” Jacobs added.
“We believe the brand is uniquely positioned to elevate Indian pantry staples and fulfil the increasing demand for diverse and bold flavours in home cooking.”