Case Studies

Shetland hospitality business expand into the coffee industry and open new premises

A Shetland-based hospitality business has successfully expanded its services and opened new premises following support from Business Gateway.

21st September 2023

About the business

The business focuses on providing vocational or bespoke hands-on training to match client specific requirements in the food, drink, and tourism industries, including barista training and is unique to Shetland.

Business Gateway was really helpful from the start. Having someone from the local area with such strong expertise and knowledge has really helped me overcome the challenges of running a business during the pandemic.
Celia Smith, Founder of Blyde Welcome

How Business Gateway has helped

Like many other businesses in the hospitality industry, Blyde Welcome faced challenges during the pandemic. With the sector suffering, Celia found herself isolated and concerned about how to keep her business operations afloat, and approached Business Gateway for help and support.

Business Gateway supported Celia with a range of growth business services, including one-to-one support from a dedicated business adviser. With this guidance, Celia underwent a strategic review to develop her business plan and implement strategies to expand her services, setting out plans for growth and projected figures.

Armed with experience in barista training, complemented with a personal love for the coffee culture, Business Gateway support helped Celia to make a move towards the coffee industry. She successfully received £9,237 through HIE’s Young Business Capital Investment Fund, which went towards the purchase of barista coffee machines, IT equipment and furniture to help make training accessible and efficient.

Celia was also able to connect with like-minded business owners in her local area, thanks to Business Gateway Shetland’s Women in Business Realise Programme.

Since approaching Business Gateway, Blyde Welcome has successfully expanded its services, and has also acquired new premises in Lerwick, which successfully opened its doors to the public on the 7th July.

Celia Smith, Founder of Blyde Welcome said: “It is easy to feel isolated when running your own business, especially in such a rural setting. Business Gateway introduced me to the Realise Programme, which has been great for speaking to people in a similar position.”

Support Provided

1:1 Business Advice/Support

Advice on Company Regulations

Highlands and Islands Enterprise Support

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