CapitalSpring makes a growth investment in Bushfire Kitchen

The private equity firm will help the five-unit fast-casual chain grow throughout Southern California and beyond.
Bushfire Kitchen
The five-unit Bushfire Kitchen received an investment to help it grow throughout Southern California. / Photo courtesy of Bushfire Kitchen.

Bushfire Kitchen, a five-unit chain out of Southern California, has received an investment from the private equity firm CapitalSpring designed to help the healthy fast-casual concept speed its growth, the companies said this week.

Bushfire was started in 2012 by Clive Barwin and his cousin Brandon Barwin, a chef. The concept features a menu of bowls, salads, sandwiches, burgers and other items, along with a Happy Hour and bar menu.

The company says its food is “made slow and served fast” and features vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. “We could tell from our first visit that Bushfire Kitchen’s unique menu set it apart from the competition,” CapitalSpring Partner Erik Herrmann said in a statement. “The food and atmosphere were fantastic, and we were eager to partner with the Barwin family to expand this great brand to new markets.”

Jim Balis, managing director with CapitalSpring’s strategic operations group, said the brand’s fresh ingredients, contemporary setting and fast-casual service model “differentiates” the concept in the industry.

Oliver Barwin, Bushfire’s CEO, said the investment will help the chain “embark on the next chapter of our journey.”

The company said its plan is to grow throughout Southern California and beyond.

Growth chain investments like this have slowed in the past couple of years, with much of the activity limited to a certain number of private equity groups and venture capital firms. But overall, mergers and acquisitions appear to have increased of late, with companies such as Famous Dave’s and Qdoba, along with the frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles, all getting new owners.  

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