There is a ‘new breed’ of entrepreneur around. The last ten years have been challenging at best. The economic crisis hit some business sectors like a whirlwind, writes Matthew Robinson.
Out of the downturn a new breed of entrepreneur emerged with a different attitude; different values, different goals and armed with new ways of doing business.
This ‘new breed’ includes first-time entrepreneurs who have decided to follow their dreams; serial entrepreneurs always bursting with new business ideas; professionals who have left the corporate sector to become self-employed and self-reliant; and seasoned business owners who recognize that now is the time to change priorities, innovate, diversify and improve.
Whilst their enterprises may span a wide range of business sectors, this ‘new breed’ share distinctive personal and business-related qualities and objectives.
It is their personal desire to succeed; their ability to assess and overcome obstacles; their ability to persuade and motivate others; their positive attitude and their emphasis on providing superb customer service that sets them apart from the rest.
In short, and as the old saying goes: ‘Mighty oaks from little acorns grow’
Regular readers of our two highly popular monthly lifestyle publications – INCheshire magazine and Prestbury Living magazine – will already be aware of our desire to support commercial organisations of all types and sizes – we do so each and every month.
Indeed, every day our email ‘inboxes’ receive news about successful people operating throughout Cheshire and further afield and, equally as important, news about more people who have decided to follow their entrepreneurial instincts and set up a new enterprise.
Throughout 2019 we will be continuing to bring more stories about Cheshire’s entrepreneurs and their new enterprises that are contributing to our local economy and creating local employment opportunities for local people.
Here, you can learn more about the two highly talented entrepreneurs behind the recent launches of two of Knutsford’s most prominent new business ventures. After reading their stories, why not take an opportunity to visit their new businesses and experience their new ventures yourself?
April’s Kitchen, Knutsford
April’s Kitchen, set in the heart of Knutsford, may have only just celebrated its first birthday in June but it has been the ambition of the young entrepreneur, April Stobart, for a lifetime.
From an early age she worked in hotels, restaurants and pubs dreaming of one day owning her own venue.
With a management degree from the University of Nottingham completed, and some valuable experience gained, April embarked on a ski season in the French Alps resort of Val Thorens, working at Bar 360, well known for its lively après-style atmosphere.
This lit the fires of ambition once again as April returned home to run the North West franchise of Beetlejuice – Transformer-style mobile cocktail bars born from vintage VW Camper vans.
Traveling to festivals and celebrations far and wide April quickly established herself as a cocktail connoisseur.
However, having her own premises remained the dream, so she set about it, transforming a modest café creatively using space to create a unique venue.
The ‘instagramable’ interior is tastefully assembled with every small detail in the design the vision of April. From light fittings to the song lyrics on the wall of the bathroom, she chose them all.
The atmosphere is relaxed, she has created an environment for all to enjoy and assistant manager Emma and the rest of the ‘A team’ are always on hand to help.
New head chef, Adam, has revitalised the menu adding influences from all around the world but remaining true to the ethos of fresh, high quality, uncomplicated dishes.
April’s Kitchen has quickly established itself as the ‘best breakfast in town’ and remains popular for lunch or a coffee any time of day, but it is its transformation at night that makes April’s Kitchen special.
The evening menu, complimented by the signature cocktails, allows the party to flow effortlessly.
April’s vision is casual dining done elegantly.
Bring your mum for breakfast; meet that special someone for supper; host your lunch meeting in our private dining room and, this one’s to the party animals amongst us, with Live music every weekend leave only when the stars decide it’s time.
The relaxed, inviting atmosphere knows all too well that sometimes, the best times are the ones you don’t plan.
Evuna Spanish Restaurants & Bars
Fifteen years ago, my mum, Frances, asked if I wanted to assist her and Manuel Evuna (wine importer) in starting Evuna – a Spanish restaurant with a difference – specialising in importing exclusive world-class wines from family run vineyards.
I’d always been particularly interested in wine, so I quit in my job as account director with digital marketing agency, Amaze; packed my suitcase and moved to a vineyard in La Mancha, in central Spain, for a month to learn how it all worked.
It was harvest time when I arrived at Portillejo, a Bodega, just south of Madrid.
I spent days living and breathing wine, crushing the grapes, tasting the must (juice) before it was fermented and then touring other vineyards and vinotecas (wine bars) in my spare time. A month with the wine maker tasting and learning and I knew I’d found my passion.
Since then I take regular trips to Spain honing my pallet with some of the most knowledgeable wine makers in the industry.
All our wines come from family run vineyards, with generation after generation of wine making expertise.
To make good wines, of course it’s necessary to have good soils, good climate and the latest technology, but we also need the human touch, the tradition and knowledge.
My producers have seen from childhood how their grandfather, uncle, father have a deep relationship with the vines that belonged to family for generations and this shows in the quality of the wine, the elegance and the drinkability of them. This is what makes them so great. This is Evuna’s passion!
I am continuously overwhelmed with the diversity of its viticulture, with more than 120 denominations of origin and over 100 types of indigenous grapes, my mission is to bring the finest wines in from Spain, at a great price, since we import ourselves direct UNLIKE any other Spanish restaurant in the UK.
Fast forward to now and we are at 4 restaurants, Deansgate, Northern Quarter, Knutsford and Altrincham (Opening Jan 2019), opening the latter 3 in just 5 years.
Juggling this with a young daughter, and opening and running a yoga studio in Manchester, isn’t without its daily challenges. It’s a constant juggle.
I made the tough decision to sell the Yoga Lounge in 2015 to concentrate on my family and the growth of Evuna but I still consider this to be one of my greatest achievements.
Nisha (business partner) and I restored 450 square metres of dilapidated office space in the Great Northern Mews building above Evuna Deansgate, creating the largest wellbeing space in the city, and I am proud to say it is now operated amazingly by The Life Centre London.
Yoga is still very much a daily practice for me. It certainly keeps me sane and in touch with my true self in this hectic world.
If you are the force behind a new business venture and you would like to tell our high profile readership about your personal journey in to ‘entrepreneurship’ then email brief details to me directly at – email@example.com