BUSINESS is booming at a Morpeth restaurant which has transformed a flood-hit building.
Beetroot Grill and Café launched late last year and after coming through a range of issues, including heavy snow and ice during its opening weeks, business partners Neville King and Kate Hannaford are now serving more than 1,200 customers a week and are on target to achieve their projected turnover of £500,000.
The pair had been searching for 18 months for premises to launch their start-up business when they came across the property in Morpeth town centre.
Despite the building having been damaged by flooding in 2008, they approached Lloyds TSB Commercial with their plans for renovation and the bank provided a £77,000 Enterprise Finance Guarantee loan, enabling the pair to repair and furnish the property.
A three-month restoration project saw the completion of the mezzanine level café, and a month later, the lower floor grill restaurant.
Ms Hannaford said: “Launching our business has not been without its challenges. Aside from it being our first venture, initially we both still had full-time jobs in a food factory and the harsh winter weather over Christmas made it even more of a challenge to get business up and running.
“However, with the unwavering support from Lloyds TSB Commercial and the busy grand opening last month, the success of Beetroot Grill and Café has exceeded our expectations.”
Relationship Manager for Lloyds TSB Commercial Rachel Gowland said: “Having seen some of the difficulties Kate and Neville have faced over the past 18 months, the success of the restaurant so far is testament to their determination and belief in their business ideas.”
Before opening, Beetroot held a Morpeth Masterchef competition to find a chef de partie. It was won by local man Terry Graham.