A Swansea couple are tasting success with their Thai takeaway business, after the exotic lunches the wife cooked for her husband caused a stir among his workmates in the office, prompting the pair to set up Bangkok Express.
Chris and April Napier set up Bangkok Express, in Swansea’s Walter Road, after deciding to trade in their day jobs in sales and administration, for the heat of the kitchen.
Chris says: “We are very glad we took the opportunity and decided to go into business together. We had been thinking about taking the plunge for a while and both April and I were at the point in our careers where we had done all we wanted, as far as working for other people was concerned, and we knew if we didn’t set up the business now, we never would. Business In Focus supported us in securing a £25,000 start-up loan from the Start Up Loans Company and, perhaps naively, I was always confident that it would work for us. April’s food is so good and she has her own style of cooking authentic Thai dishes, the way people cook them at home in Thailand. I used to take my lunch into work and my colleagues would all ask to taste it. So, then April started to sell her cooked lunches to my colleagues. We just knew we had to do this as a business.”
“We were not in a position to fund the business ourselves and some online research brought us to Business In Focus. I went to them with a business plan, which they refined and simplified. It took a just a couple of months – or perhaps less – for the loan to come through and then we were in business. Of course, the early stages of any business has its stresses and working with your partner can be stressful too, but April and I are disciplined about leaving the stresses of the kitchen at the door and not bringing them home with us. The whole process of getting a start-up loan was remarkably worry-free, thanks to Business In Focus, who have given us ongoing support. We should have done this years ago.”