A TOWN centre business which shut down before Christmas owed £300,000 when it went under, documents show. 

Jacket potato restaurant Kumpi opened its first and only restaurant in Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, in December 2021 and closed on December 23, 2023. 

Co-founders Ozan Kulaksiz and Onur Guvenc said it was “very difficult” to run a business in Bournemouth because of a “massive decrease” in footfall. 

Kumpi appointed a voluntary liquidator late last month and a recently submitted statement of affairs to Companies House shows at the time of closing there was an estimated total deficiency of £296,470.32. 

More than £246,000 of this is unsecured non-preferential claims to the company's two directors Ozan and Onur. 

Bournemouth Echo: Co-founders Ozan Kulaksiz and Onur GuvencCo-founders Ozan Kulaksiz and Onur Guvenc (Image: NQ)

Meanwhile £18,909 is an unsecured claim to the bank HSBC, accounts submitted to Companies House show. 

As well as this, the liquidators have revealed more than £31,000 is owed to HMRC VAT and PAYE. 

London-based insolvency practitioner CMB Partners has been drafted in to wind down the business. 

Read more: Kumpi jacket potato restaurant in Bournemouth to close

Ozan told the Echo the duo now have plans to reopen a restaurant in London, "but the timing is yet to be decided and will likely happen once we secure investment", he said.

He added: "As you may be aware, Bournemouth town centre has faced significant challenges, with a large number of shops closing and seemingly limited support from the council.

"The decision to put Bournemouth aside was influenced by the changing landscape and the challenges faced by businesses in the area.

"Despite the closure, our online presence was strong, and Deliveroo teams have recognised our performance multiple times."

"However, we remain optimistic about the future of Bournemouth. While there are challenges, we believe that with proper support from the local authority, the situation can improve.

"Onur and I envision a revitalised Old Christchurch Road, bustling with restaurants and cafes, creating a vibrant environment attract families, students and artists, like places in London, Bristol, Brighton, Manchester etc.

"Bournemouth has immense potential, boasting the most beautiful beach in the UK and surrounded by attractive destinations like the New Forest and Jurassic Coast.

"With the right strategy, Bournemouth can reclaim its position as a top tourist destination."

When it was announced Kumpi would be closing, Onur said it was difficult to run a business in Bournemouth town centre.

Bournemouth Echo: Kumpi on Old Christchurch Road in BournemouthOliver C P Smith

The pair previously said BCP Council was too focused on pop-up restaurants along the seafront, adding said “more needed to be done” to attract tourists and residents beyond the sand. 

Onur and Ozan first met 12 years ago when working part-time jobs while studying at Bournemouth University and have lived in the town ever since. 

Both from Turkey, the duo were inspired by a traditional Turkish take on the baked potato - Kumpir. 

Kumpi promised ‘next-level baked potatoes’ and had a range of toppings including halloumi, crispy chicken and chorizo. 

They had ambitions of turning the business into a nationwide brand, but blamed the council for not being able to achieve it because of the town centre.