Stark Restaurant

MasterChef semi-finalist Ben Crittenden and his wife Sophie received a start-up loan to launch Stark restaurant in Broadstairs, Kent.

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The couple had been working towards obtaining their own restaurant for many years to secure a future for themselves and their two young daughters, Ivy and Rosa.

Ben has a wealth of experience in the industry and has been working as a chef since leaving school. He is utterly dedicated to preparing and serving quality food, made from the best seasonal ingredients.

From working in a number of top restaurants (including 6 years at a Michelin starred establishment), Ben became a semi-finalist in the BBC series, MasterChef in 2014.

After 14 years of working in the catering industry, Ben and Sophie decided it was time to put the focus into launching their own restaurant, which became a reality when Stark was launched in Broadstairs just a few years later, following support from a start-up loan.

Ben said, “Our only demand at Stark is that our customers sit back, trust us with their dinner and enjoy the experience. My wife, Sophie, has a great passion for hospitality and keeps customer satisfaction levels high. Our guests are welcomed into a stress-free environment, with the promise of a delicious, 6-course taster menu served in an intimate, relaxed space.”

He added, “We received a start-up loan to support initial start-up costs of launching a new restaurant, and to help fit out the premises. We are so happy with the support we received, and our business mentor supported us every step of the way. Since launching Stark, we have built a strong and loyal customer base - so much so, we are now in the process of opening a second restaurant as an extension to meet demand. Exciting things are coming.”

Stark part two, titled ‘Stark Dos’ is underway following additional support from Let’s Do Business Finance with a Growth Loan that has been used to support the launch of the second restaurant. The pair plan to transform the original premises into a tapas bar and use the new restaurant space, with an increase of 16 covers, as the main hub to serve up their award-winning six-course menu and wine flight.

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