A Stratford-upon-Avon restaurant, which owes its existence to crowdfunding, has been named as the best new entry in the prestigious Good Food Guide.
Salt opened on Church Street back in March after chef Paul Foster managed to raise an incredible £102,000 through crowdfunding to open the restaurant with his wife Rhianin.
Since then the business has gone from strength to strength, with its inclusion in the annual restaurant rankings just five months after opening, testament to the hard work the couple have put in.
Paul said: “We’re just blown away by it really, winning a national award like this just five months after opening is fantastic and is a reflection of all the hard work the staff have put in.
“It works by customers nominating the restaurant and then the Good Food Guide send around their own inspectors, but you never know who they are.
“I think this will give us further reach, Stratford and our local business is brilliant, but to ensure the longevity of a business of our style, we need to be looking at attracting more people from far and wide. We offer something different here and there are lots of people who don’t mind travelling for food.
“Five years ago the Good Food Guide named me as the best up and coming chef, I was just a young new head chef at the time, but Salt being named as the best new entry is a fantastic follow up to that.
“People like us because of the quality of our food and it’s served in a professional and relaxed style. People don’t want formal and stuffy, we offer relaxed fine dining.”
Paul added that the restaurant regularly gets fully booked at the weekends and during weekdays business in continuing to grow.
The pair also accessed free marketing and business planning workshops from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce/
Tanya King, business coach at the Chamber, said: “It is fantastic that this early in their development Salt have been recognised in the Good Food Guide.
“The restaurant is already a huge success story. Paul and Rhiain crowdfunded the venture from the start and took advantage of the free advice they were able to access from us, taking it all on board.
“I’m looking forward to following Salt’s development in the years to come and I’m sure this award is the first of many for the restaurant.”
The Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the district and borough councils.