The Wild Woods Tapas Bar – Alan’s self-employment story

Alan, 52, from North Devon, had a dream business that he wanted to set up but didn’t know where to begin when it came to self employment. Now it’s all up and running, he’d like to share his story.

Alan’s story
“I live on the edge of Exmoor and have previously owned and run a wild boar farm. Through this I gained lots of knowledge of farming methods, the local countryside and sustainable living.

“Following a period of unemployment I started to look at setting up my own business running a Tapas Bar that would specialise in dishes using game meats and local produce. I have built the Tapas Bar myself using a mobile home covered in wooden cladding with decking and an outside seating area.

“The bar is fully licensed and there is also a pool table and a fire pit for customers to enjoy. The Wild Woods Tapas Bar is run partly using solar power. I would like to make it completely energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral in the longer term.

“It has been really exciting seeing my new business coming together. With the support of my Change Coach and help from the Positive People Project, I have been able to launch my Wild Woods Tapas Bar. It has been a great success – since opening we have been busy every night and are looking forward to welcoming more customers as the business grows.

“The biggest challenge I faced was funding set up costs including new branding and public liability insurance.

“Positive People has given me a step up from which I have been able to start up and launch my Wild Woods Tapas Bar business.

“I would eventually like to make the business completely self sufficient in its use of energy with a zero carbon foot print. Some of the business is currently solar powered but I am looking to expand this and also use a wind turbine. I would also like to continue to develop the business to include an onsite camping facility”.

Positive People partners engaged with:
Pluss – Positive People project Change Coach support. Cosmic – Self Employment course to help inform business set up, create new branding and receive digital support. Education and Development Trust (Sue Cardner) for careers guidance, sourced sustainable / renewable energy funding options from Devon Community Foundation.