THINKING BIG: Mother and daughter team Dawn Wilson and Chloe Wright are to expand their fledging business
THINKING BIG: Mother and daughter team Dawn Wilson and Chloe Wright are to expand their fledging business

ONLY eight months after opening, a Gainford business is already expanding and looking to recruit at least one apprentice.

Mother and daughter team Dawn Wilson and Chloe Wright opened their chic cafe, gift shop and bed and breakfast, Winstonberry, on High Green, last year. They have already decided to bring forward plans to open a delicatessen.

The duo spent months last year breathing new life into the historic three storey building, creating a bright and inviting cafe and gift shop to the ground floor. Upstairs, three of the four bedrooms were turned into boutique accommodation complete with kitchen and living room facilities, all decorated with the same artistic flare. They have been delighted with the response since opening and decided not to delay plans to open a delicatessen in one of the ground floor rooms any longer. Ms Wilson said: “When we opened we did have it in mind to open a delicatessen on our first anniversary and just put it to the back of our minds.

“But we’ve had more and more customers come in since the butchers closed asking about our plans. So we just thought why put it off any longer.”

They intend to transform their Beehive function room into the deli where there will be a range of freshly baked breads, cooked meats, olives, pastas, specialist honey and preserves.

She added: “We will be looking at local suppliers where we can but there will be some things from further afield.”

Other ideas include offering their own version of indulgent ice cream based desserts, similar to a knickerbocker glory, but with a Winstonberry twist.

Ms Wright said: “We already stock Brymor ice cream and it’s a little different to have an ice cream bar. We don’t want to become the corner shop, but we will stock some staple items residents can’t get at the moment.”

Since opening they have employed several people but are now looking to take on at least one apprentice interested in studying the hospitality industry.

Ms Wilson said: “We’ve already been in touch with Darlington College and initially we did say it would be great to get two apprentices, but they think we may struggle to find someone in the rural area.

“We just want to be able to have someone learn and grow with us as the business grows. I know there is a lot of feeling that apprenticeships are just a cheap way of employing someone, but they’re not as they are learning on the job and they spend a lot of time at college as well.

“And we want to pass on our enthusiasm for the business to someone who wants to learn all aspects of the hospitality business, not just one section. The delicatessen should be up and running by May 1 and it would be great to have one if not two apprentices ready to start next month. If someone local is looking to learn about hospitality it could be ideal.”