This time last year I was negotiating a major expansion of my business. One that would see me opening pop up cafes across Southern England starting in Reading, then Winchester, Bournemouth, Bristol and Southampton. Another 5 sites were planned creating the UK’s largest plant based cafe brand. Think Creams meets Costa meets Pret, all 100% plant based with a major sustainability focus. With only weeks until the first site in Reading going live the first lockdown was announced putting an end to all my plans.
With absolutely no support during lockdown, no grants, no rebates, no furlough, not even universal credit I’ve slowly used up all my company resources and found myself back at square one, back in the same position I was in in 2015, with an idea of driving around in a campervan selling coffee and smoothies. However what I do have is a second chance and the benefit of hindsight. A chance to do it all again avoiding the mistakes I made the first time round with the knowledge of past experiences and if past experience is anything to go by anything can happen.
I am quite optimistic about the post pandemic landscape and I think the country will bounce back in a big way. I believe people want to get back out there when it’s all over and safe to do so. To get outdoors, to eat, to drink, to relax with friends with a coffee or with drinks at a festival.
It’s going to be an exciting ride, one that I intend to enjoy every step of the way.