imago supports success of local entrepreneur
They say that life changing ideas can strike at any moment and for Pete Gardener of Loughborough based business Chocolate Alchemy, it was behind the bar of imago’s Burleigh Court hotel
Two years later he no longer works at Burleigh Court but imago is still supporting Pete as he grows his successful handmade chocolate business. Pete has always had an ambition to start his own business, using his experience in the food and drink industry having previously been a bar manager and landlord. Taking on the role of bar supervisor for imago not only gave him the time to develop his entrepreneurial vision but to also find added inspiration thanks to help and support from the staff.
Pete comments: “After months of research into the local area and a lot of hard work to develop a strong business idea, I launched Chocolate Alchemy. We are experts in handmade chocolate – not only selling our products and running a coffee shop but offering master classes and team building courses. imago were incredibly supportive and allowed me to be flexible with my working hours so that I could invest time into getting Chocolate Alchemy started. Mark Price, imago’s head of catering, and head chef Andy Grant have also been really important from the start – helping me to develop the idea behind the business and now testing flavours and giving me feedback.
“imago is now one of my biggest customers and I’m really pleased that they still support me as a Loughborough business. The partnership also works both ways as I am now booking a lot more hen parties and it’s great to be able to recommend Burleigh Court and The Link hotel to these visitors.”
Mark Price, head of catering at imago said: “It’s been fantastic to see the growth of Pete’s business idea from original conception whilst he was a member of staff here to an established business. Not only is it important to support a friend but also a local business which offers excellent quality produce. His chocolates are now available at the Burleigh Court restaurant, in the bar at The Link Hotel and to delegates at Holywell Park.”
The future for Chocolate Alchemy looks bright with a new investor on board with plans to expand the brand in the future. The new investor is runner and former Loughborough University student Lisa Dobriskey along with her husband Ricky Soos, providing yet another link back to the campus where Pete first had his spark of inspiration two years ago.
For further information on imago visit www.welcometoimago.com, call 0845 036 4624, or follow @imagolboro on twitter. Find out more about Chocolate Alchemy by visiting http www.chocolatealchemy-loughborough.co.uk or by calling 01509 238113. Chocolate Alchemy is located at 5 Churchgate Mews, Loughborough, LE11 1TZ.