I became aware that my local Post Office was closing down. I have always been interested in real estate and developing properties so when I heard about it’s closure I thought I could do something to benefit the community. I created a brand and set up a coffee shop and deli with the idea of incorporating the Post Office in to it. One business could benefit the other and it would offer a lovely meeting place for the community. I also wanted to use the venue to help raise money for local charities and local schools. It was an ambtitous idea since I have a busy career as TV Host whereby I travel a lot. I am also a wife and mum to two young children.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
I had never set up a brand before (only my own as a TV Presenter), or run a food and beverage business. The property needed complete renovation and the business needed to be started from scratch. I had to find staff, source produce, create a business plan and so on. It was a huge learning curve but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am still learning every day and with 27 staff there are quite a few people to manage. We have been open for a year and every day I feel like we improve. We havce come such a long way since we opened and I can only thank our AMAZING team of staff for that. They are so passionate and hard working.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My parents have always known me to be a ‘go-getter’. Even when I was at school I was in to everything and wanted to make a success of it. Of course I wasn’t always successful but everything I put my mind to, I gave it my everything! I bought my first property at 19 (after saving a deposit from my part time job) and now age 35 I have renovated 16 properties which now includes my first commercial venture ‘Lord Roberts on The Green’. Who knows what the future holds. I am sure I will set up another business or renovate more properties. I am never able to just sit still. I think thats what being an ‘entrepreneur’ is all about.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
The location is unique and the team working for us are passionate.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Don’t stress out about debt…loosing money isn’t ideal but sometimes you have to lose it to gain it, if that makes sense.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
It doesn’t matter how old you are - you can be an entrepreneur at any age. Creating a brand or a business from scratch is incredibly rewarding. Any business will have ups and downs and as an entrepreneur sometimes you might have to set up a few businesses before you finally have one that is a real success.