A Fulwood cafe owner is marking a year in business, after taking the plunge to set up her own business.Advertisement
Lia’s Cakes and Tearoom in Garstang Road was set up with help from start-up funding from the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.
Owner Lia Chambers has told of how it was a 64-hour week to get her business off the ground.
She said: “I can’t believe it’s been a year already. The time has flown by and business is picking up, even if doing everything myself – which I do at the moment – means I haven’t had time to do any marketing.
“I haven’t had the chance to go out to other businesses and drop off business cards, for example, but business is a lot busier compared to when I first started.
“People have dropped in for the first time after saying they have passed me so many times and hadn’t previously had the chance to look in – and I’m steadily building up a client base.
“What I have at the moment is hard work but it’s not as involved as running a restaurant.
“Initially I was working seven days a week but I had to give myself a day off; even then I was working from 8am to 6pm six days a week but I’ve scaled that back to 11am to 6pm.”
Lia moved to Preston in 2005 from Montserrat, and had always wanted to start her own cake-making business.
She said: “I had to because not everything is wholesale and I use recyclable plastic products as well so I have to give myself time to get those.
“As a result I get whatever bits I need before coming in, opening up and giving myself enough time to prepare for the lunchtime service.
“I don’t think anyone can say a recipe is exclusively theirs because everything comes from somewhere else, especially in baking.
“What I also try to do is provide some healthier food as well, even if gluten-free and sugar-free products are hard to do in baking!
“I’ve told people I’m trying to come up with a good recipe but it’s certainly a challenge.”
The new enterprise allowance allowed her to take the first step in setting up her business.
Lia said: “I don’t have any exact targets about the future but becoming busy enough where I have to find bigger premises and be able to hire staff would be great.
“The NEA scheme was also good for me because getting my business plan signed off was a positive stepping stone towards opening my business.
“It’s also nice to know I can utilise whatever support is there to make sure my dreams come true.”
Have you visited Lia’s cafe? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below