I recently had the pleasure of meeting an inspirational young entrepreneur, Lucy Ugborokefe, the owner and proprietor of Origin Juice and Brew Bar on Fishergate Hill, Preston.
Despite being only sixteen Lucy has set up a successful business, something many with more years of experience would find difficult. Lucy has wanted to start her own cafe since the age of fourteen after enjoying cooking and baking for nine years. She was homeschooled successfully by her mother for three years and is planning to attend college.
The entrepreneurial spirit runs strong in Lucy’s family, her White British mother is involved in property development and her Father an immigrant of Nigerian origin runs a restaurant and night club. Lucy received funding to start her business from her mother, but don’t think she has it any easier than other business owners – she has made every repayment on time and in full. Almost all the work to get the cafe up and running was carried out by Lucy and her mother including creating much of the décor and fixtures from reclaimed and upcycled materials. Where necessary Lucy brought in local contractors such as electricians for those jobs she could not complete herself.
The cafe itself is definitely one of Preston’s hidden gems. The menu features a diverse range of meals and drinks including vegetarian and vegan options at reasonable prices. A range of desserts and treats are available for those of us with a sweet tooth. All the meals are hand made by Lucy and her mother. Meals are available to eat in or take away
I asked Lucy the following questions about what inspired her to set up her business and what her plans are for the future.
Who or what inspired and inspires you?
People that I’ve watched and read about who don’t follow the norm and push for their dreams no matter what their circumstances are.
Why did you want to set up a business?
Its a chance to be creative in so many different ways whilst shaping my future as well.
What do you want to achieve in the future?
I want to have more businesses, focussing on ones that help other people’s dreams and use their skills, and that are also kind to the planet.
What has been the most difficult thing about setting up your business and how did you overcome it?
Not knowing many people who do something different like this, therefore not having an example to follow. Having someone to share doubts with and bounce ideas off helped, for me, it was my mum.
Having sampled the food and enjoying the atmosphere I can see Origin Juice and Brew Bar becoming a regular food and drink spot for me. I wish Lucy all the luck in the world and would encourage all to support her by enjoying the fabulous food and drink available.’’
Interview by Podio Preston volunteer Ian Cash from Anstu Media, photography by Stuart Cash