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Great Coffee and Sweet Music

Jazz musician takes giant steps thanks to a £12,000 Start Up loan from BEF.

The Mobile Jazz Café is one small step in a long journey for Greg Gallagher; a coffee-loving, drum playing, jazz musician from Leeds. The Mobile Jazz Café serves the perfect blend of artisan coffee and cakes accompanied by the finest jazz, funk and soul music to festival goers and businesses within the region.

Supported by Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, Greg launched The Mobile Jazz Café at the Leeds Food & Drink Festival in June 2019 where Greg spent three days serving coffee and music from his Tuk Tuk.  Each night he gigged throughout the area to make ends meet.

“The festival was hard work and went well.” Greg said. “It was the start of my journey to owning a permanent jazz, funk and soul venue in a major city like Leeds.”

A graduate of Leeds College of Music, Greg had worked for years to save the money he needed to start The Mobile Jazz Café. This included working by day while gigging at night and a six-month stint on a cruise ship. The Mobile Jazz Café is ‘freedom’ for Greg who was confident that his future lay in working for himself as a musician and business owner. Greg views it as his opportunity to get ahead and build the quality of life and security he wants in life.

Greg approached BEF in late July 2019 to secure funds to cover existing business expenses and provide much needed cashflow for growth. Thanks to a £12,000 Start Up loan delivered by BEF in early August 2019, Greg has covered his existing business expenses which included the purchase of a new car. He has also purchased a trailer to transport his Tuk Tuk to and from festival venues.

In addition to increasing his presence at festivals, Greg now accepts bookings from businesses who want to treat their employees to the ultimate cup of hand roasted coffee. He has also launched a range of branded, high quality merchandise that includes t-shirts and tote bags. All this activity is backed by a social media marketing campaign to increase awareness of The Mobile Jazz Café brand.

Greg said: “The difference between having the loan and not is huge. It has strengthened my financial position and given me peace of mind and confidence to grow my business.”

When asked about his experience with BEF, Greg said: “Josh was always helpful, upfront and around. His thoroughness helped me to think about everything I needed to do to be successful.”

Greg’s advice for other companies who are seeking to start or grow is: “Running a business is harder than it looks so it helps to be organised. Don’t rely on your business giving you an income from day one. Think long term and always have a backup plan.”

Josh Kelly, Associate Investment Manager at BEF said: “Coffee and Jazz served from a Tuk Tuk is a winning combination. The artist, Barbara Januszkiewwicz once said: ‘Jazz can be a blank canvas full of possibilities.’ That’s perfect way to describe The Mobile Jazz Café. I wish Greg every success with this venture.”

For more information on The Mobile Jazz Cafe visit http://www.instagram.com/themobilejazzcafe.


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