Business modelling transforms ‘greasy spoon’ into Old Station Cafe

Gerry had a background in catering and retail management and Louise worked as a personal assistant and was also qualified in management and leadership.

To acquire the business from the present owners at the right price came top of the list. The premises had important historic relevance as it was the original Millbrook Halt Railway Station that served the old Western Railway and any refurbishment therefore needed to be carried out sympathetically with that heritage in mind.

The café had a ‘greasy spoon’ reputation so this needed to be turned around if the business was going to attract new customers and thrive. A comprehensive business and financial plan needed to be put together as well as a fully researched business model to assess the viability of the business.

Supporting Gerry and Louise to develop a realistic business and financial plan was the main focus of Jersey Business’s support. Business advisor June Stead supported the Flynns as they put together a thoroughly researched plan and financial forecast which they carried out diligently with positive focus. Meetings and advice revolved around drilling down on the details and financial forecasting of the plan and business model as well as understanding the price of the concession and how the investment would be realised over time. The Customer, menus, staff, leases and customer service were all discussed in great detail as well as their idea to expand the café with an undercover seating area.

The acquisition was successfully negotiated. Gerry and Louise rolled their sleeves up and got to work and the renovations were successfully completed. The interior of the cafe was decorated in a station theme and the exterior now includes a new children’s play area, the first beach café to do this.

The business is thriving. Staff deliver excellent customer service and an experienced chef and his team produce top quality food including authentic Thai cuisine and now there is a bookings only policy on Friday and Saturday evenings which fills up very quickly. Planning permission was granted for a canopy over the decked area which will be erected before the autumn months.

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