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Loan helps local people dine in style

Pictured: (l-r) Jon Howe and Helen Aubrey and Hannah Alexander (Lloyds TSB Commercial)

A couple from Hereford have been able to undergo a complete refit of the kitchen of their fine dining restaurant in Cheltenham using a £50,000 loan from Lloyds TSB Commercial’s Hereford team.

Lumière Restaurant on Clarence Parade was founded in 2009 by Jon Howe and Helen Aubrey. The restaurant prides itself on serving high end modern British food with a twist.

As head chef, Jon trained under notable culinary masters including Heston Blumenthal and John Campbell and ensures everything served is made in house – from the canapés and bread to the cheese biscuits.

The business, which sources seasonal food from local farms, regional suppliers and markets, approached Lloyds TSB Commercial for funding to completely refurbish the kitchen which was over 18 years old and had become outdated.

The new redesigned space includes state-of-the-art induction cookers, refrigeration systems, appliances, floors and electrics. Since reopening last month, the business has experienced a rapid rise in covers and a greater demand for a table than ever before.

Currently employing six people, the £250,000 annual turnover restaurant is now advertising for another member of staff to satisfy this demand.

Helen Aubrey, owner of Lumière, said: “The new kitchen facilities were vital to us continuing the high standards that we set for our customers. Jon is a perfectionist and the old outdated equipment was holding him back. The new refurbished kitchen not only looks fantastic but allows his creativity to continue at a rapid pace.

“We opened the restaurant in a recession and most banks wouldn’t even look at us. Lloyds TSB Commercial were so helpful in finding a funding package to enable us to open and have again provided financial support to help us with the refit. Without the bank’s support it just wouldn’t have been possible.

“The restaurant is busier than ever now, and it is great so see our customers leave satisfied and returning back to try the other delights on the menu.”

Hannah Alexander, relationship manager at Lloyds TSB Commercial, said: “Helen and Jon take great pride in the service and experience they deliver at Lumière and it shows in the raft of positive feedback they receive from customers.

“We helped them set up the business three years ago and have continued a strong relationship. Having worked with them since then, we appreciated the need for new cooking facilities to ensure that the business continues to go from strength to strength – proven by the number of customers that have flooded through the doors since reopening.

“The hospitality industry has been hit hard in recent years, but this has not affected Helen and Jon – a testament to the quality of food and service. At Lloyds TSB Commercial, local managers have the authority to agree lending up to £500,000 and Lumière is an example of thriving business that has been able to benefit from this.”

 

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