How did you start your business?
I started off producing homemade cakes for local cafes and tea rooms while doing freelance chef work.
How did you get into this industry?
I got a part time job in a restaurant when I was 18, this provided me with some pocket money during my A Levels. I decided to take a gap year before university to gain more experience in the hospitality industry and worked in various pubs and restaurants building my customer and chef skills; following this I continued to work to pay my way through university. My first main job after university was as a catering manager running a 5 kitchen operation at a residential school for young people with autism (this gave me great experience in catering for people with special dietary requirements well before it was such a widespread requirement).
What do you enjoy most about being in your business?
I love chatting to customers and seeing their positive reactions to food we’ve made.
What top 3 words/phrases describe you best?
Driven, Ambitious, Caring
What is the best USP about your current business?
Being able to enjoy locally sourced food while sitting right by the river… I also think we do the best coffee around but I guess every coffee shop thinks that!
What is your favourite local restaurant and shop?
The Old Rectifying House is my favourite restaurant and my favourite shop is currently Two Seasons or ICE (I have a t shirt buying problem)
What exciting things are happening in your business?
We’re going to develop an evening bistro style menu at the cafe for Friday and Saturday evenings in the summer and combine this with getting an alcohol licence. We are also going to book high quality local acoustic music acts to produce an intimate riverside venue serving delicious food.
What motivates you?
Complements from customers and happy staff.
What demotivates you?
Having to close when the river floods.
What would you say would be your biggest achievement to date?
I think probably Cafe Viaduct; it’s quite a different cafe to what was there before but going really well and we’ve managed to hold on to many of the existing loyal customers from the previous occupants of the site.