James Talbot and his partner Jake Jones, took out a loan of £20,000 from Start Up Loans in September 2020 during the pandemic, after Jake was made redundant. They used the loan to open Pobi Bakery in Witney, Oxford, a traditional and artisan bakery offering takeaway and delivery treats for locals.
The pair had always planned to open up a small shop but not for another five-ten years, however, the pandemic and their personal circumstances drove them to accelerate their plans.
They started by baking in their own home oven and slowly built a following with home deliveries to locals. It was so well received that they pulled together the plans to open a shop in August, took out the loan in September, and by October were already open.
Despite all the challenges thrown at the hospitality industry throughout the last year, the pair have managed to employ four members of staff, secure further production space, are forecasting a turnover of £250,000 in the next financial year and are planning on opening their own baking school.