How this 51-year-old started her dream afternoon tea business in lockdown
PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:36 30 August 2020
Over the last 20 years, Dee Bartram put her career on hold, settling down into family life.
But now, aged 51, she has started her dream business.
Mrs Bartram, like thousands of people across the country, found herself with little to keep her occupied during the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 13, the 51-year-old, from Aylsham, decided to take a leap of faith and start her own business, Vegalicious, selling vegan and vegetarian afternoon tea and food platters from her home.
“I’ve always had a passion for food and 20 years ago I worked in hotels and cafés and in two of those I was the head cook,” said Mrs Bartram. “But then when I got married and had children, that was put on the back burner.
“My husband had a continuous illness with colitis that required a plant based diet and I jumped on board.
“Being plant based we realised although things are improving, there’s a gap in the market offering a vegan and vegetarian afternoon tea delivery service.”
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The afternoon teas includes four finger sandwiches with a choice of fillings, a side pizza, a mini mushroom roll or caramelised onion and cheese tart, a fruit or plain scone with jam and plant cream and cupcakes.
In the first three months of business, Vegalicious has received hundreds of orders and has almost 1,000 followers on Instagram.
Mrs Bartram said: “I wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for work drying up with Covid, I’ve been given another shot of doing a career I love at the age of 51.
“It was really worrying at first, work really dried up quite a lot and we still had bills to pay.
“I spent quite a few weeks in a stage of panic and when the business took off I was really surprised.
“Lots of people have said it’s not just what I’m cooking it’s the way I’m selling it.”
Mrs Bartram said she’s now going to focus more time and energy into her new business and has new ideas in the works.
To find out more about Vegalicious, visit their Facebook page.
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