Torquay sisters, Abi and Finola Warren, had a passion for vegetarian cooking and dreamt of opening their own premises for years, despite both having full time jobs working in mental health.
After feeling there was a gap in the market locally for a contemporary vegetarian café, the sisters felt ready for a new adventure and to pursue their vision of combining their love for cooking with interior design.
Abi and Finola had a clear idea of the business they wanted to start, but had no real experience of setting up and running a business. The thought of leasing a premise, writing a business plan and quitting their full-time jobs was daunting and the sisters had no idea where to start.
Also, Abi had recently bought and started to renovate a house so had little savings; she needed unbiased advice about business loans and start-up options.
TDA Business offers a wraparound business support service for start-ups and established business of any size. The Advisors offer friendly and impartial advice and support within both a 121 and group environment and with fully funded support on offer, many of the services run at no cost to your business.
Abi found TDA Business online, and made an appointment to meet with Business Advisor Kim.
Kim explained the start-up loan process, supported Abi when she was writing her business plan and was always available to answer any questions or give some words of encouragement. Kim was on hand, either face to face or via email, from the very first meeting up until the lease was signed and the business officially opened.
In July 2019, Abi and Finola opened their own Café and Lounge, Margos, close to their homes in Babbacombe, Torquay. Abi and Finola completely renovated the existing café and through a lot of hard work, created a beautiful space where people can relax, socialise and enjoy great coffee, cake and vegetarian food.
Abi said, “Kim was fantastic! When I first met with her all I had was the dream of opening a cafe and no idea where to start or if it would ever be possible. She was so enthusiastic about my idea and made everything seem a lot clearer and manageable. I remember leaving our first meeting absolutely buzzing because she made it seem like it could all actually happen and I wasn’t being unrealistic starting from scratch with no experience.”
“We would 100% recommend TDA Business to anyone! I would have procrastinated over opening the cafe for such a long time if I hadn’t have met with Kim and had her enthusiasm and encouragement. Everything seems so daunting when you’re on your own trying to figure out the many areas of starting a business so it’s great having someone experienced to be able to guide you.”
Business Advisor Kim said, “From our first meeting I knew that Abi and Finola “had what it took” to make their business idea a success. It has been a pleasure seeing their business evolve from a seed of an idea to a welcoming and elegant café.”
Since opening in summer 2019, Abi and Finola are loving start-up life and are busier than ever before. They are looking forward to the future at Margos, and are hoping to get their alcohol license very soon.
For more information about Margos go to www.margostorquay.co.uk