Lindsey Crooks took the plunge and left her job earlier this year after receiving a business loan from the bank. She has used the money to purchase The Hay Barn Café at Kneesall from its previous owners, as well as acquiring the leasehold to the premises.
The Hay Barn Café is situated in a beautiful 250-year-old converted agricultural barn. Lindsey has transformed the existing space and menu to offer a choice of homemade dishes, cakes, scones and daily specials.
All dishes are cooked on site, with ingredients sourced from local suppliers and producers. The Hay Barn Café also sells locally-made jams, fudges, beers, ciders and gins.
Lindsey has retained the existing staff team, employing five people full-time as well as two part-time Saturday staff.
She said: “I’ve always wanted to run my own café, but being a mother and having a husband in the military, I just never got around to it. Now my daughter is older, it’s the ideal time for me to realise this dream. With financial support from NatWest, I have been able to purchase the business and lease the premises. Without their help, I would never have been able to complete the process and secure the funds I needed.”
NatWest Relationship Manager Kerry Bott said: “We supported Lindsey throughout the whole process of securing her new business, from creating an effective business plan, to completing the finance deal. The new menu looks great and I wish her the best of luck for the future.”