A Ross-on-Wye entrepreneur is opening up their premises to offer an opportunity for local start-ups.

Victoria Town runs a coffee shop and bakery on Broad Street and is allowing businesses to use her premises as a space for evening pop-ups. She hopes this will encourage and empower new local businesses to try out ideas and get a supportive start in the town, without having to put down big money on start-up costs. One of the first pop-ups to take advantage of this opportunity is Mac Daddies Gourmet Mac and Cheese, which is taking place on September 3.

Victoria Town told the Gazette that she hopes the use of her premises can help boost smaller local business and give them a leg-up, allowing them to dip a toe in the waters of the local business scene.

She said: “We have a whole kitchen that’s not used in the evenings, so it’s such a lovely premises and such a good spot on the high street, and I’d like to try and help other start-ups, because that was me a few years ago.”

Those who’d like to participate can get in touch via the Facebook page “Victoria’s at 25 Broad St”.

She added: “For people who love cooking and love the idea of a restaurant, it gives them an opportunity to try it out, or for people who can’t afford to get a premises.”

For businesses that are just starting out, rather than being charged a flat fee, Victoria’s asking for a small percentage of their takings. This hopes to minimise the risk to those starting out.

She hopes that new up-and-comers can have the opportunity to build a customer base, or a following, and eventually have enough confidence to get a space of their own.

The Broad Street coffee shop proudly bakes all of its baked goods in house, including birthday cakes. The business also provide other coffee shops with cakes wholesale. This is one of Ross’s newest coffee shops having only opened May 2 this year. Victoria’s passionate about using her influence as a positive force in the local economy, supporting fellow Ross businesses, buying from them whatever they can’t make themselves. Meat is sourced from Hank’s Meat and Game and milk is sourced from Cotteswold Dairy. Tim Hanks’ butchery was a finalist in the Eat Game Awards 2019; the butchery had made it to the “best small retailer” category.

Victoria moved to the area following her mother who retired in Ross after a career in nursing. After visiting her mother in the town for a number of years the charm of Ross-on-Wye endeared Victoria to move to the town from Kent and open her second coffee shop.

Victoria said: “I have got another coffee shop in Kent, where I’m from, but I thought I’d really like to open one here, then this premises came up, the landlord gave me an opportunity to be able to open a second one, and I just want to pass that on. If someone does something nice for you, then I’d like to do something nice for someone else.”