The two founders and soon to be brothers in law, Sam Elia and Menashe Sadik meet while working together in a local restaurant.
Menashe and Sam start a business together with a location on Camden High Street in London and begin selling fish and chips, £1 pizza slices, kebabs and falafels to the locals.
Not long after they add Chinese food to their offer - and the beginnings of a brand begin to take shape.
Scraping together the funds from friends and family, the founders secure a prime location on Oxford Street. Through a clause in the rental agreement they are told they can't sell Pizza in their new restaurant. Sam and Menashe take a leap of faith, go with the Chinese offer and Chopstix Noodle Bar is born!
Fun fact - it was Menashe's wife Ruth who suggested the name.
Having opened a number of successful sites in London, it was the famed restaurateur Philip Kaye, while taking notes on Chopstix, who advised Sam and Menashe to branch out of London.
The first sites out of London are opened in Norwich and Leicester. Both sites are licensed out to be run by local operators.
The founders begin their own procurement of ingredients through Poland to establish strong commercials in the brand. More sites are opened including Bluewater and Lakeside shopping centres.
South Kensington, Wood Green and Woking open as the brand begins to build awareness in the capital.
Attention moves to Scotland and we open in various locations including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Livingston and Dundee.
Chopstix opens another 6 stores. Luton, Milton Keynes and Cardiff are amongst them.
An in-house build team is created so all store builds can be managed consistently to the same standard.
Store number 20 opens, (Manchester Piccadilly) and the founders invest in a warehouse and supply chain to control and lower capital expenditure.
Our 1st Extra Motorway Services opens in Baldock, quickly followed by Cambridge, Peterborough and Blackburn.
A brand new extraction system is created enabling the brand to open in smaller spaces. Reading, Swindon and Bridgend open.
30 stores. Sam and Menashe just can't stop finding locations to share the noodles, and by the end of the year the brand sits at 30 stores!
Chopstix employs an external marketing agency to help create brand credentials and identity.
The 1st franchised site is opened with Applegreen at their Galway services in Ireland. Chopstix goes international! Plus the logo gets a refresh and the now iconic 'red chopsticks' are introduced.
Franchising comes to the UK as the initial Welcome Break at Birchanger Green services opens. The brand introduced IQF coated chicken in the business, eliminating the use of raw chicken and engages with Bidfood as a distribution partner.
Our store design is updated, and the Oxford Street store is the first to be re-launched with this new look. Concentrated sauces are launched into the business, further deskilling the operations. Manchester Arndale and Coventry open.
Jon Lake is appointed as MD for the business.
Yangtze is purchased and becomes the sister brand to Chopstix.
Deliveroo launches Faster Fresher Tastier to your door at the click of a button.
Our brand elevation programme kicks in with the launch of our Westfield Stratford store and we introduce the wok Bain Marie displays and iconic red boxes to the brand.
Metro Bank partner with us and we push on with site procurement and expansion!
We introduce new proteins to the business with sweet Chilli Prawns and Stir Fried Beef and Broccoli.
We believe in the beef with more great product innovation as Teriyaki comes to town!
We open another 5 stores including Birmingham, Bristol, Southampton and Hammersmith.
Chopstix launches its 1st Vegan offer with Green Thai Tofu Curry.
We start the year lean and green with 'Veganuary' and our awesome Pumpkin Katsu box.
The brand continues to grow and expand even through the Covid crisis as we open a store in Liverpool and complete a major refurbishment on our Cardiff store.
We expand into dark kitchens offering Chopstix and Yangtze from ALL our store locations. We even create a new 'virtual' Indian brand as Jaldi Jaldi sweeps into our stores.
Noodle Aid begins as we take Chopstix on the road (via a tank) and into locked down student bellies!
Yuletide arrives and we celebrate Christmas with the introduction of our very 1st dessert on our menu. Chinese Doughnut buckets with our caramel drizzle dip prove to be a festive hit!
We open our 1st 'hybrid' store with Welcome Break; the shape of things to come on Britain's busy motorway network. Plus we test the water with our franchise offer in.
Chopstix cook at home sauces are tested and trialled, ready for their 2021 launch.
With more new stores on the horizon and a solid management team to deliver our consolidation and growth strategy, the future looks bright; the future looks fresher!