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Foodie dream comes true
2:29pm Thursday 19th January 2012 in Startup Companies
Debbie Warland began cooking at four, took business advice at 16 and became a head chef at 23. Now she has realised her dream and opened a swish eaterie.
Brought up near Thame, but now living in Headington, Oxford, Ms Warland, 44, (pictured) is behind the Café and Business Lounge at the Monument Business Park in Chalgrove.
The former Oxpens College catering and hospitality student was previousy a sous-chef at Oxford University, a head chef for Oxford University Press, catering manager at Ryecotewood College, and ran her own business The Picnic Hamper, which saw her catering for functions and running a sandwich round.
She said: “It is true to say my own catering business has been an almost lifelong dream and getting it has been a slog. But it has been so worth it to be able to run my own business.”
The £100,000 café is the result of a four-month project, and a South Oxfordshire District Council rural funding grant.
It covers a total of 2,000 sq ft at one end of Unit 37 on the park and seats about 40 people.
Ms Warland offers a range of hot and cold food, a selection of coffees and other hot drinks, and a business lounge area for people to meet and network as well as access to high-speed broadband.
As well as providing a facility for workers on the park, it is expected to attract people from the surrounding area, particularly those working from home.
Much of the food used in the new facility is sourced locally.
Ms Warland added: “I have a real passion for good home-produced food.”
A special official opening event will be held for the new business on January 27.