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JasonTurton ABC

Local residents of St Thomas have welcomed the recently opened Apple Blossom Café to their area following a loan and business support from the government-backed Start Up Loan Scheme.

Launched by experienced local chef, 33-year-old Jason Turton in July 2014, the café has sought to stand out from the other cafés in the area with its fresh, modern décor and unique, price-conscious menu.

“Mr Turton said, “We pride ourselves on table service, tending to all our customers’ needs, whether they’re mother and toddlers needing high-chairs and baby-changing facilities to making the day of our loyal elderly customers.”

With 12 years’ experience working in the catering industry, Mr Turton wanted to start something of his own: “I’ve worked in many areas of hospitality, from fine dining and award-winning pubs to independent city centre cafés and catering for events, but starting my own business has proved nothing compares to being your own boss.

“I’m in charge of my own future and you only get what you put in!”

Mr Turton launched the café with funding and support from the government-backed Start Up Loan scheme, accessing free business support and a £5,000 loan towards the cost of the launch from regional delivery partner, SWIG Start Ups. “SWIG Start Ups contacted me in a matter of days and after the completion of my business plan agreed on the £5,000 I needed to finish the project.

“The whole process was well worth the effort and I would recommend anyone who has a business idea to get in touch with them, they may just eb able to help you realise your dreams.”

Fund Manager at SWIG Start Ups, Mark Thayre said: “Jason has extensive experience of the catering industry in the Exeter area and we were impressed with his business plan. We were thrilled to be able to support his venture and wish him every success in the future.”

Mr Turton hopes to build on the evening restaurant trade in the local area in the future: “St Thomas is crying out for more evening trade which is currently lacking and our Bistro night is now up and running with great success with a loyal Exeter following.

“I’d like to continue to grow our customer base in the future and effectively respond to our customer’s needs.”