Jamie Oliver’s signature restaurant chain, Jamie’s Italian, is coming to South Africa. The first restaurant will open in Melrose Arch sometime in November.


It was recently announced that superstar chef Jamie Oliver’s franchise, Jamie’s Italian, is making its way to South African shores. The chain was started in Oxford, England in 2008, and opened its first international store in Dubai in 2011. Jamie’s Italian currently boasts around 40 stores across the globe, and the aim is to open five stores in South Africa over the next few years.

Lucid Ventures, a venture capital company launched earlier this year by kulula.com founder Gidon Novick has a 20% stake in the venture (Jamie’s Italian is the VC Company’s maiden investment).


The international franchise Jamie’s Italian – which, as the name suggests, was founded by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver – is coming to South Africa. The first restaurant will open in Melrose Arch in November, and four more stores are planned for the near future.


Lucid is an FSB-approved fund where its investor base benefits from a section 12J SARS income tax incentive. The incentive was put in place to encourage investment in qualifying new ventures and high growth SME’s in the country.

Investors get a full deduction of their investment against taxable income. Lucid has an initial capital base of R80 million and an investor group comprising experienced and successful South African entrepreneurs. The initial focus of the fund is on businesses in the fast growing casual dining sector.

“South Africa has a history of brilliant entrepreneurs. With a new source of VC funding now in place, combined with strategic support and mentorship – our hope is that many more emerge and that we can play a part in their success,” says Novick.

Jamie’s Italian was designed to be accessible and affordable; a neighbourhood restaurant where everyone is welcome and feels comfortable, no matter what the time of day.

“Each restaurant is uniquely designed to incorporate the history of the building and personality of the city, as well as create an environment where the focus is on exceptional food, good company and the relaxed friendliness of the ‘Italian table’,” says Jamie Oliver.

Source: Standard Bank BizConnect www.bizconnect.standardbank.co.za.

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