A CHEF turned soldier has gone back to his roots – by launching a restaurant experience for the home.
Stephen Cox, from St Annes, worked in a variety of kitchens before joining the infantry and heading off to the Iraq war.
Now out of the armed services, he’s decided to open up a restaurant with a twist – it’s in his customer’s homes.
He said: “I worked in some great kitchens before joining the Army.
“I didn’t join up and become a cook – I joined the infantry, it was something I just wanted to do.
“But when I left the Army I started back in kitchens again, here and abroad.
“After working with a few reputable chefs, I wanted to come up with my own business venture.”
That’s when Stephen saw a niche in the market – and decided to launch his own business.
He said: “Chef @ Home is the next-best thing to opening your own restaurant – taking your food to people’s homes.
“I want to bring restaurant-quality food to people’s homes for much cheaper than the cost of going to a restaurant.
“It can be so expensive these days, even going to a pizzeria. The customer doesn’t even have to wash up – we do that too.”
Stephen operates his business from www.yourchef-at-home.com, which ensures he has few overheads.
The most recent Taste of the Nation survey from Deloitte suggests that despite the economic downturn, the average number of times UK residents pay for food to be prepared for them will increase from 198 times a year to 201 in the next six months.
Crucially, it states: “Consistency, quality of service and value for money remain critical to the decision-making process for consumers.”
Steve Pye, chairman of the Fylde coast branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “I think he’s come up with a great idea – it’s something that people will pay for.
“When starting a business, it’s important to find a niche.
“If people can’t get out, he will bring the mountain to Mohammed.
“I wish him well as I do all people launching a small business into a niche market.
“Businesses that start up in hard times will always flourish when the economy reaches a better place.”