A case of turning a negative situation into an opportunity motivated Dildar Sandhu to launch his business, The Stottie Shop in Hinckley.
The culinary entrepreneur used to play hockey at county level – before he had the misfortune of breaking his leg doing so. This meant he had to take six-months out from work, giving him plenty of spare time to fill. Some people might have done nothing but sit at home and curse their bad luck. Not Dildar.
He knew he wanted to pursue his passion for cuisine, and decided to get together a business plan for a food outlet. He knew he needed money to launch this venture – which is where The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity stepped in.
“Prior to running the shop, my old job was the same every day and it wasn’t very satisfying. I knew I didn’t want to go back to what I was doing, so I decided to make a business plan.
“I wanted to do something to do with food and pursue the passion I have for food. So that’s why I decided I wanted to open The Stottie Shop,” explains Dildar.
A stottie is a special type of bread used to make sandwiches – which are really popular in the north of the country – but aren’t widely known about in other areas of the country.
There used to be a stottie shop in Hinckley, which ended up shutting down. But Dildar knew it was a unique idea and had the potential to be very popular.
So he took on the idea himself, reworked it, remarketed it, and now the shop is bustling with trade. There is now a strong team of staff at The Stottie Shop, and plans to expand the brand in the future.
“I’m a hard-worker and I believe that the sky is the limit if you’re prepared to work hard enough. That’s why I enjoy being my own boss and taking my business to where I want it to be. It’s rewarding seeing it grow; taking on staff and providing people with jobs has been inspiration,” says Dildar.
“In the near-future I’d like us to set up a mobile catering service, so we can go around events selling our stotties and making them more well-known. Then in the future I’d like to see if bigger stores would like to stock pre-packaged stotties. Places have sandwiches, baguettes and wraps, so why not have stotties?”
With his enthusiasm and drive, it looks like stotties could be a mainstay of shops and cafes across the country in the near future.
If you’d like to visit The Stottie Shop and try one of them for yourself, the store is based at:
16 Rugby Rd, Hinckley, LE10 0QD. It’s open 7.00am to 2.30pm Monday to Saturday, and 8:00am to 1:30pm on Sunday.
Dildar was full of praise for The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, which he credits for helping him fulfil his goals: “The application process is really good. It really makes you think. You can’t just go at making a business blindly, you need to know what’s going to happen and what you’ll do if something goes wrong.
“If you’re thinking of applying for a loan, go for it – I don’t think I’d be where I am today if I’d taken a loan out from the bank.”
For more information on the Charity’s business loans, please click here