A couple of weeks of rain gave me plenty of time to contemplate what on gods great earth am I doing with my life and wondering if I am ever going to make a proper go of this business. I love food, I truly do. It’s become a cliché to profess it’s an obsession, but it genuinely is for me. I believe wholeheartedly that the food I lovingly cook is great. What has been greatly lacking is stability and investment. I’ve tried to make a go of it on a budget of £0 which has not been easy! Much of my equipment has come from Freecycle or surplus from friends, I do love this beg/borrow/exchange way of doing things but it has made things difficult. The biggest impact has been on trying to find the right venue to operate from, with no cash whatsoever I have been unable to secure a lease in the right location. The café has only been able to open purely on the the generosity of others.
I cut my teeth on Sneinton Market, a space that I have a long held affection for, a place steeped in history and ripe to transform into something wonderful. Wendy and Brian could not have been more accommodating and helpful. Guiding me through the pitfalls of things like insurance and maintaining a sunny disposition in cold weather or during those quiet days when customer footfall is low. I really want to see Sneinton Market thrive again, I would love to walk across the square and see rows of stalls and throngs of people shopping in a more sociable, local and interesting way.
I needed to grow the business and move on from trading one day a week to working full time. At a time when I was experiencing a traumatic change in my personal circumstances, I was given the opportunity to run an actual cafe, like a proper grown up! I used to walk in everyday and feel incredulous that it was real. One of my strongest childhood memories is of Christmas Day when I was five, I got a bluebird a la carte kitchen and I remember pushing it into the kitchen where my mum was preparing the Christmas Feast (man did we ever stuff ourselves, trotting out another cliché here but my mum was an incredible cook) and Iwas pretending to cook alongside her, throwing smarties and quality street into my pans! I felt so happy and this is how I felt every time I came into the cafe to cook. Unfortunately whilst the rent and support given was fantastic the location wasn’t quite right and then we sadly discovered that having a cafe open to the public in the premises was going to push the insurance premium through the roof and it was not going to stack up financially.
So then we moved to Cobden Chambers! What an incredibly stunning space, a real oasis in the heart of the city. I love it there, it’s so wonderful. Unfortunately The Courtyard is not rain proof and I am not set up that well to trade outside in the glorious UK weather that comes in many guises! This gave rise to the aforementioned introspection and subsequent despair that despite trying and working really hard, the business wasn’t going to be successful. With a saddened heart and a deep set sense of failure I began updating my CV to send out to agencies to prospect for work.
What would I do now? A vegetarian chef in Nottingham has extremely limited options. I left office work for many reasons, it’s hard to be good at something that you have no interest in or enthusiasm for, I don’t have much to contribute to the ‘water cooler’ chat. The 9-5 life doesn’t suit me and I hate being told what to do! I became sad and angry that the last year and a half had been wasted, to end up back in the situation I happily skipped away from and then……..
I got approached by someone wanting to invest! The time of miracles is at hand! We are working hard to secure a lease and will announce the venue soon. This is a very exciting time for Beccy’s Global Kitchen and it is with a a bucket of ideas, exhilaration (and a little bit of fear) we look forward to the next phase.
In the meantime please feedback what you’d like to see in the new space! Updates will be posted, keep ’em peeled.