Upmarket café chain Heavenly Desserts has retained HRH Retail to acquire new stores across London and the south of England as it accelerates its expansion programme.

It has just opened its first London store at International Quarter London, Lendlease and London and Continental Railways’ new £2.4bn development in Stratford, and is planning to open in Walthamstow, Wembley and Hounslow in the next few months.

Founded in 2008, the luxury dessert brand has 25 branches. While many of its early stores were focused on the Midlands and North, it is now widening its coverage. Other new locations in the pipeline include Brighton, Cambridge, Luton and Watford.

Heavenly Desserts aims to open up to 20 new branches a year for its café chain, which offers a more upscale proposition than other dessert parlours in the market and targets a slightly older demographic.

Ground floor retail units of 1,500-2,000 sq ft are being sought in prominent town and city centre locations, shopping centres and leisure-led retail parks, ideally close to other A1/A3 food users and leisure opertaors.

HRH Retail partner Tim Hance says: “Heavenly Desserts is tapping into the British consumer’s growing appetite for sweet treats, with dessert parlours now enjoying the same popularity as coffee shops. Within this sector, Heavenly Desserts is aiming to carve out its own niche with an emphasis on luxury and quality.”