Ell's Kitchen still cooking up a storm a year
JUST a year after taking a punt on a failing Longlevens cafe, Helen Roberts is starting to see her months of hard work bear fruit.
The turnaround in fortunes for the Cheltenham Road coffee shop, now called Ell’s Kitchen, has been astonishing.
Two previous similar businesses there had failed. But Helen and daughter Sarah, have enjoyed such success that they now want to branch out to provide a comprehensive outside catering service in the county.
New jobs look to be on the horizon with work experience staff likely to be offered full-time contracts and possibly two new positions taken on early in 2014.
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Helen has also splashed out on a £13,000 van to deliver her tasty treats to homes and businesses around Gloucester.
“On day one I was rally nervous,” she said. “Since then, we have gathered huge momentum and the business has done really well.
“The food is locally sourced and home made, that helps our customers to keep coming back.
“When I told friends I was setting up on my own, many thought I was mad. Anyone else who has been put off from setting up on their own should just have a go. There is plenty of support out there.”
The new catering arm of the cafe, Party in a Box, will offer a comprehensive service, from invitations, balloons, party bags, and Helen’s homemade cakes.
In a previous life, Helen was a business adviser. She has continued that service, offering advice sessions, one-to-one mentoring or half-day courses to people considering starting up on their own, or existing business.
Students can now tap into the secret of her success because Helen has been drafted in by Gloucestershire College to talk about the catering industry.
Business network events take place at the cafe on the first Friday of every month.
To book a place, call Ell’s Kitchen on 01452 525445.
Carrie Rose is a business mentor working across Gloucestershire, specialising in women setting up on their own.
“There are so many women around who have brilliant business ideas but who lack the confidence, clarity and self-belief to make a success of it,” she said.
For details on Carrie’s business services visit www.carrierose.co.uk.
Advice for small businesses, including information on start up grants, is also available at the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnerships.To find out more, visit www.gloslep.co.uk