Alexander Betts-Charalambous is an ambitious, determined 21 year old. Studying Business Management at the University of the West of England, working part-time as a technician for Apple and having an active involvement in his parent’s start-up just wasn’t quite enough. Alex has always dreamed of following his parent’s footsteps and owning his own business and seeing a gap in the market, has started to make his own business idea a reality.
Juuce Bristol is Alex’s concept for a coffee and smoothie bar that offers healthy eating supplements alongside freshly prepared juices, smoothies and aero press filtered coffee. Alex feels that serving the products in a relaxed but vibrant environment, embracing the community with locally sourced goods will be the unique approach that keeps customers coming back again and again.
Starting a business can be a daunting commitment, even for the experienced business person and being just 21, Alex has an even tougher task. After researching online for start-up business support and mentoring, Alex discovered the Business West Start & Grow team.
"The team gave me guidance, support with business planning and cash flow forecasting advice, I also took part in start-up workshops and gained access to Edge forecasting tools through Start & Grow, overall the process was fantastic."
Alexander Betts-Charalambous, Juuce
The programme also placed Alex into contact with like minded individuals who were experiencing similar challenges. Finding a mentor was also something Alex wanted to do through the programme and the team made this happen, having someone to consult with provided him with an experienced opinion on every aspect of the start-up process. The help and support from the Start & Grow team has been invaluable and Alex believes that he wouldn’t have had the confidence to go it alone to make his business idea a reality.
The Business West Start & Grow team also helped Alex in his bid to secure a start-up loan. He was able to secure a SWIG Finance loan of £4,950 which has been vital to putting his idea into action. The money has been spent on the initial equipment that will be needed to help operate the smoothie and coffee bar.
Any outstanding funds have been put towards perfecting the shop fitting, providing the unique feel which is so crucial to Juuce becoming a success. Over the next three years Alex hopes to fully establish his business, from the opening of the business to month 36, Alex hopes to invest £350,000 into the brand and have two established stores with at least one other smaller concession operation. The future looks bright for Juuce and the Start & Grow team will be with him every step of the way to ensure everything is on track.