social impact report & annual statement

There will be no storm in this Tea Cup thanks to a start-up loan from BEF.

Cake making duo save the day and the jobs of eight staff as they take over a community Tea Room in Howden.

Located in the historic market town of Howden in Yorkshire, ‘That Tea Room’ is a family-run tea shop at the heart of the neighbourhood. Its proud new owners, Sam Barker and Jo Hunter, are local ladies who serve up a selection of wonderful homemade cakes, scones, hearty food and a choice of 18 loose leaf teas from around the world.

Sam and Jo who both live in East Riding had been working at That Tea Room for two years alongside eight colleagues when the owner decided to sell up and move on. With a love for the tea room now formed and the prospect of unemployment for all the staff, the pair decided to act. They purchased the business by combining their entire inheritance and a £12,000 loan from BEF.

Going from working in the tea room to owning it was a huge leap, Jo said: “We’ve both turned 40 and if we didn’t do it now, we never would. We tried every avenue we could think of and the high street banks just didn’t want to know. We got quite a few knock backs along the way and at one point felt it would never happen for us. My Grandpa Eric, our biggest fan, who has now passed suggested BEF and they were willing to help and provided us with the finance we needed to get going.”

In addition to the tea room, the business provides outside catering for parties, wedding and events. Since the investment their catering services have been in high demand and they have been booked up every weekend. However, the heart of ‘That Team Room’ truly is its dedicated team, its traditional Georgian building with quirky tea pots lining the ceiling, and the regular customers, who come in week, in week out and are described as ‘family’. This really is the cup that cheers.

Sam explained how pleased she was with her BEF experience: “Our investment manager, Julie, was very helpful and the BEF team were so approachable. Nothing was too much trouble. I could ring anytime if I had a problem and they would advise me. We could not have achieved this without them.”

Julie Micklethwaite, Start Up Loans Manager at BEF said: “Sam and Jo are great. It has been a joy to help two hardworking family women achieve their dream. While Grandpa Eric is unable to witness the transformation of the business under Sam and Jo’s leadership, I’m confident that he would have been proud of their dedication and all they have achieved so far.”

To find out more about the tea room just click here: That Tea Room.

If you are looking for finance to kick start your idea contact us.

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