Alison White is a serial entrepreneur and after founding a successful research company, she tried something new by opening her own café-deli, White’s on Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds in 2014.
With her second venture thriving Alison snapped up an opportunity by taking on a vacant shopfront on the same street.
With a flexible approach and a willingness to test the market on the move, Alison decided to open an Indian restaurant. She got in touch with the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) who arranged a Start Up Loan for the new business.
“I looked at vacant property in the area and then decided what to do with it,” said Alison. “I researched the people of Headingley and they were screaming for a good quality Indian restaurant. The area has been lacking one for over 20 years.”
For assistance in creating a menu Alison connected with Michelin Star Indian chef Alfred Prasad to devise a menu. Authentic dishes include ‘railway potato curry’ inspired by food served on trains throughout India.
With expert backing, a standout name and atmospheric décor, The Cat’s Pyjamas Indian Restaurant is off to a flying start, with the colourful shop front attracting new customers as well as many regulars.
Alison has created 13 restaurant jobs, with aims to create more as plans to open a second restaurant are made. “BEF were really easy and straightforward to work with, the loan was processed quickly and I immediately put it to work to open my restaurant,” she added.
“The Business Enterprise Funding has ignited a bustling business with huge potential,” said BEF Investment Manager John Hall.