Posted inUncategorized

Cwmbran chef who was made redundant follows dream to start own business

A chef who was made redundant in 2020 is following his dream to start his own business.

Connah Walker has worked in restaurants and pubs in Gwent for 17 years. He has set up a GoFundMe page to help get his “business on its feet.”

Connah said: “I was made redundant in March 2020 when the government ordered all pubs and restaurants to shut their doors.

“I lost my home, job, stability and security. I had to move back to my mum’s and sleep on the sofa. The last year and half, I have resettled down with my lovely partner and recently had a baby girl.

couple take selfie
Connah and Rosie, his partner (Photo: Connah Walker)

“I’ve had a long time to get over the heartache and depression of Covid and had long thoughts into the nights at what I’m going to do next. I’ve finally realised I’m ready to be my own boss and am currently creating my new adventure owning my own business called Dark Kitchen.

“I want to show the public, this is what I can do and this is my trademark. I’ve been known for the food I’ve done and that’s great. I’m ready to put my stamp and experience into the work I’ve been doing for years.

“I can make anything. I’ve learned so much since I was six and baking with my nan. I learned so much from her.”

montage of food photos
(Photos: Connah Walker)

Food cooked by Connah

Private home dining

“I want to focus on the relationship with food, love and passion. A couple asked me to cook a meal in their home for their ten-year wedding anniversary so they could focus solely on themselves. It was really nice focusing on the memories. One Friday night, a couple got engaged (in the restaurant where he was working) and they said it was the best meal they’d ever had. Then it means the food is part of their memory of that night.”

The Prince’s Trust

He said: “I started at the bottom, pot washing. I’m quite observant and have had great opportunities to meet different people and learn from them. I did all my qualifications while working.

“I’ve always wanted to start my own business but never had the time or felt it was the right time.”

He is getting support from The Prince’s Trust, which runs free business courses for 18-30 year-olds.

“It’s great and all online. There are 20 other young people and two business mentors. Since I’ve done it I’ve been recommending it to everyone. Hannah is my business mentor for the next 12 months. It’s fantastic.

“I didn’t have a laptop to write a business plan for grants and funding. I spoke to Hannah, filled in forms and she said she would sort it out for me. I’ve now got a brand new iPad.”

He is currently building his website: “I bought my first domain. It was so exciting. A massive achievement, a massive step.”

Connah plans on making wood-fired pizzas to sell at food festivals, events and weddings. His ambition is to run his own open-plan kitchen where customers can sit around to watch and chat to him as he cooks their food

Support Connah

Click here to visit his GoFundMe page and make a donation.

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Posted inNews

Cwmbran chef who was made redundant follows dream to start own business

montage of food photos
(Photos: Connah Walker)