A STOKESLEY cafe owner has the recipe for success after becoming the first person to take part in a new leadership programme.

Damon Wright, the owner of TK’s Café and Catering on the Terry Dicken Industrial Estate, has gained the double boost of a direct grant of £1,600, plus entry on the Small Business Leadership Programme run by Newcastle Business School.

He was helped by the Open North Foundation established last summer to help small firms in the North-East looking to recover from the pandemic access grants, plus in-kind support such as marketing, HR and finance.

Directors, ambassadors and supporters of the Foundation provide their time pro bono.

Damon said: “Prior to Covid-19, we had very healthy profit margins and were servicing some very well-known businesses, including Barbour and Amazon.

“We very much believe that TK’s Cafe has a future after the pandemic and have used this time to make strategic changes to the business as we plan on coming back bigger and better.

“Accessing the Small Business Leadership Programme will allow me to refresh and build my business knowledge.

“Having undertaken a business strategy MBA 20-years-ago, I have a sound understanding about how to run a successful business, but I am no longer up-to-date on current marketing trends.

“I will use the information to reset the business so it is ready to come back with a bang when everything opens up again.”