close icon

Expert opinions, profiles, market trends, debate and the latest news in an ever-changing sector

EVENTS • RETAIL Tuesday 23rd September 2014



Soapbox is back! Brands are queuing up to pitch their businesses at this autumn’s Completely Retail &
Leisure Marketplace.

The Soapbox sessions that were so successful at April’s Completely Retail & Leisure Marketplace are back by popular demand.

On September 30th, another exciting cross-section of emerging and expanding brands will have just three minutes to communicate their concept and talk about their expansion requirements during the LaSalle Investment Management-sponsored Soapbox sessions.

The Completely Group’s Rebecca Sawyer comments: “We had such a positive response to the initial sessions in April that we’ve had a whole fresh crop of brands approaching us to take part.

“Pitching your business in three minutes is quite a challenge. Those who took part last time described it as being like a cross between Speaker’s Corner and Dragons Den!”

April’s sessions saw as many as 200 landlords and agents in the Soapbox space with most of the major UK retail destinations represented.

Having moved to a new venue at Old Billingsgate Market, the Completely Retail & Leisure Marketplace broke all previous attendance records with more than 1,600 retailers, leisure operators, developers, investors and agents gathering for a day of intensive networking and dealmaking.

“The show is the perfect opportunity to reach a lot of the right people in a short space of time and the Soapbox sessions are a key part of that,” Rebecca observes.

Among those venturing onto the Soapbox this time are:

  • Bubbleology
  • Chiquen
  • Netto
  • Pizza Pilgrims
  • Poncho 8
  • Soupe Du Jour
  • Thai Leisure Group
  • The Fine Food
  • Tossed
  • Wok & Go


Brothers, Thom and James Elliot are on a mission to bring authentic Neapolitan pizzas to the UK.

Following the success of their legendary Pizza Pilgrims van in London’s West End, the duo opened their first restaurant in Dean Street and have just opened their second in Soho at Kingly Street.

Thom – pictured on the left with his bro – has just come back to work following the birth of his son, Jackson.

The brothers are going to present together and Thom hopes that they can communicate the spirit of what Pizza Pilgrims is about.

“I guess what we’re trying to do is bring the same sense of fun and energy to serving pizzas that the new wave of burger places have achieved in their market. Mel Brooks famously said that pizza is like sex: even when it’s bad, it’s good. But we’re trying to bring something more to what can be a pretty formulaic and straight-faced eating out experience.

“The essentials are that we make great pizzas from the finest, freshest ingredients to fantastic recipes but there’s great fun to be had in the process.”

Still somewhat fazed by becoming a father for the first time, Thom is hoping that James will take some of the strain.

“If we do it as a double act that means I only have a minute and half to do, doesn’t it? Hopefully I can handle that!”