STAMFORD, CT -- BEV Capital recently completed an investment in Le Gourmet Chef, a specialty retailer of kitchenware, packaged gourmet foods and decorative housewares. Key elements of the investment decision were: a CEO that BEV had previously successfully backed, a very strong one-store model and impressive sales per square foot.

BEV led the oversubscribed $8 million financing round with other new investors The Walnut Group and Mercantile Capital. Existing investor Provender Capital also participated in the financing.

Le Gourmet Chef (LGC) has been a bright spot during a time of poor performance for many retailers. While companies such as The Gap, Federated and Ethan Allen reported significantly negative same store sales through 2001 and into 2002, LGC's comps were double-digit positive over that time.

The Le Gourmet Chef concept integrates kitchenware, packaged gourmet foods and decorative housewares around entertaining-at-home themes. Whether the customer is preparing a summer barbecue, throwing a holiday party or arranging a romantic Valentine's Day dinner, LGC provides a one-stop-shop for their entertainment merchandise needs. The stores promote casual at-home entertaining with a warm, relaxed environment and merchandise with a dash of humor.

LGC currently operates 29 stores across the US and achieved approximately $45 million in revenues for fiscal 2001. The company's headquarters are in Red Bank, New Jersey.

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