No doubting Thomas’s appeal

It’s not unusual for a change in life circumstances to fire up an individual’s entrepreneurial spirit. It is undoubtedly unusual, however, when that catalytic event is triple bypass surgery.
But that’s exactly what led to Steve Hardin from Shropshire opening his online shop. At the age of 51 he was diagnosed with a heart problem that culminated in the surgery, prompting him to give up a successful career as an auditor and turn his passion for trains into a web business.
In 1999, he and his wife Rita had taken over what was a run-down and closed miniature railway in the park in Chester.

Taking the leap of faith

Three years ago, while juggling a full-time job and bringing up a young family, Rachel Birch decided it was time to turn her hobby into a business and become her own boss.
“Spurred on by a burning desire to be my own boss and to give people a taste of what the countryside has to offer”, as she puts it, after years of planning, research, product testing and saving up, Melton Mowbray Drinks was born.
Although her sales projection for the business were 200 bottles in the first year, 500 in the second and 750 in the third, sales have now reached almost 4000 bottles a year.