Indianna Carlino, owner of The Lion’s Monocle, returned to Torbay with a vision to create a coffee house and cocktail bar that showcased some of the unforgettable experiences she enjoyed while travelling. With a passion for local, fresh and wholesome foods, Indianna looked to create a quality food and drink offering which also caters for the vegan, vegetarian and gluten free market.
The initial ideas for the business were established however Indianna was looking for some guidance around the business plan and funding opportunities. While there was a vision to include a number of different aspects to the business, there was a need to establish what would work and what was best to focus on first. The business strategy needed to reflect the goals of the business and how best to achieve this, while a start up loan was crucial to enable this.
Indianna met TDA Business Advisor Kim Thornton to discuss her ideas and get some 1-2-1 professional advice. Through a business diagnostic, looking specifically at the business plan and funding, the business strategy for The Lion’s Monocle started to come together.
Indianna said: “It was great to meet up with Kim and get advice about the concept I was developing. Together, we established ways in which I could develop the business and achieve everything I wanted to. We managed to secure £25,000 from the Start Up Loan Company, set up to support entrepreneurs, which gave me great confidence in my product.
“Kim also highlighted the Love Your High Street campaign, which encourages people to use local businesses. Being nominated for an award gave my business a great platform to build from and increased our exposure.”
After six months of trading, The Lion’s Monocle is now an established place to have coffee, listen to live music and enjoy a unique dining experience with a group of friends.
The business also won Torbay’s High Street Hero award in recognition of providing exceptional customer service every day and making Torbay a great place to shop.
Indianna continued: “Through a steep learning curve, the business has developed in so many different ways. We are constantly creating new drinks and food options and introducing new ideas, themes and fun community-led events.
“The feedback from our customers is great. We have over 100 five star reviews online, which is something I’m very proud of and proves that we are exceeding our customers’ expectations. Making people happy and being recognised as a High Street Hero makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
As the Vice Chair of the Paignton Chamber of Commerce, Indianna plays a proactive role in campaigning for the regeneration of Paignton and providing more quality establishments for locals and visitors to enjoy.
With the run-away success of their Talent Night on Wednesdays, the first themed afternoon party planned for Saturday 11 November and Halloween and New Year’s Eve events not to be missed, the remainder of 2017 looks exciting for The Lion’s Monocle. For more information about the business and to find out what’s on visit www.facebook.com/thelionsmonocle
Businesses can register and arrange a meeting with a TDA advisor to complete a business diagnostic. Visit www.tda-business.com for more information or call 01803 207948 to get in touch with a TDA Business advisor.