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Launching a brand new enterprise in tough times

Launching a brand new enterprise in tough times
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Launching a brand new enterprise in tough times
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Catering entrepreneur, Amy Alt, based at our Milton Keynes Business Centre hit a challenging bump in the road when the coronavirus pandemic struck. However, like many of our incredible business owners at Capital Space, Amy refused to let the global pandemic get in the way of her dream.

Working in Milton Keynes pre-lockdown

Amy Alt, who previously worked in a corporate position at Shell, was in the early stages of running her dream business, Lucky Spoon, operating a professional kitchen from our Milton Keynes Business Centre last year. Her day-to-day job included delivering premium breakfasts and lunches to clients in the local offices, and further afield in Milton Keynes. When the pandemic struck, she had just opened up an exciting new café to service office workers in the local town centre.

The impact of coronavirus on business

The subsequent lockdown and closure of offices meant that Amy’s client base began to disappear, resulting in her having to shut the café and make two staff redundant.

“It was a horrible experience,” she comments, adding that she eventually had to close her kitchen. “My business was young – just two years old. It was go, go, go, all the time. When it suddenly stopped, it was a struggle.”

Despite the devastating implications of lockdown for her business, Amy decided to innovate, learning how to create hand-made patisseries. She began selling afternoon teas and luxury brunches to private clients and the business persevered.  

Operating in a Covid-secure environment

At the moment, Amy and her employee adhere to Covid-19 secure measures at our Covid-secure centre. They take temperature checks before each shift, wear gloves and masks throughout the food preparation and packing process and offer contactless delivery. For corporate workers who have returned to the office, Amy has adapted her products to offer individual lunch boxes instead of sharing platters.

Launching a local enterprise

Determined to persevere throughout the pandemic, Amy pursued another enterprise with her partner Jack last November. Their new venture, Local Market Milton Keynes, an online deli, proved to be a big hit amongst growing demand to support local businesses during challenging times.

“Large businesses in Milton Keynes love to support local; it makes people feel connected to their community,” Amy comments. Focusing on locally sourced, high quality, artisanal food and drink products, the deli sells everything from delicious coffee and luxury hampers to chocolate and craft beer, sourced from over 40 suppliers.

A new business idea is not without its challenges though, and having plugged away throughout the past year to keep her business afloat, Amy has had some difficult moments. She admits to promoting the deli on Facebook and Instagram being challenging – not only creating fresh content, but standing out from the crowd of competitors.

“Social media is a place of constant comparison where businesses are validated by clicks and likes. That can be discouraging, especially when it’s your own business,” said Amy.

However, the 28-year-old entrepreneur is nothing but driven. “I like my job. That’s why I don’t mind putting in the extra hours.”

This year, Amy hopes to reopen the café; renew her corporate client base at Lucky Spoon and expand her range of deli suppliers. We look forward to supporting the resilient entrepreneur in all of her exciting culinary business ventures as she continues to flourish at Milton Keynes Business Centre.

To find out how Capital Space could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 4667 or email info@capitalspace.co.uk