Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stockport businesswoman launches Curtis Cuisines


FOR Tracey Curtis cooking was always a hobby and a passion so after 20 years of creating delicious cuisine for family and friends – she decided to quit her business and finance job of 25 years and turned that hobby into a brand new business.

And now Tracey runs Curtis Cuisine providing quality home-made ready meals, using locally sourced fresh ingredients, to the people of Stockport.

She said: “When I set up the business, I thought it would be mostly older people contacting me, but I have found there are a lot of families and people with busy lives who are using my services. I deliver the meals frozen so that they can put them in the freezer and re-heat them whenever they want.

“I got the idea to start up the business because of situations Involving my own family/relatives, who loved home cooked food, (with no artificial ingredients), and not mass produced ready meals, but I could not find a service able to offer this. Just because some-one can’t cook anymore it doesn’t mean they no longer want to taste good wholesome food.

In setting up Curtis Cuisine Tracey spoke to Age Concern, and a variety of voluntary agencies and did a great deal of research to ensure there would be a market – and she discovered that people were now given more choices over who should provide such services to them.

Tracey provides a range of meals to her customers including beef casserole, sausage casserole, fisherman’s pie, lasagne and much more. Wherever possible the products are sourced locally, all meat is sourced from local farm shops, supporting local communities and farms, and as well as offering a delivery service she is also selling the meals at farmers markets throughout the area.

“It’s a very diverse job” said Tracey, “and at the moment I do everything, from shopping and sourcing the products to cooking, labelling and delivering – and although it is hard work I am thoroughly enjoying it.”

For the past 25 years 45-year-old Tracey has worked for Stockport Council in business, administration and finance – but she felt she was ready for a change.

“I just needed to do something different” she said, “cooking is a hobby and passion of mine. I absolutely love it, it’s so nice to be doing something different and I am really enjoying being my own boss.”

Tracey’s, family has been very supportive of her transition into self-employed and she says she will never look back. Her family enjoy sampling her new recipes.

She added: “I am just working on promoting myself and building the business up. I haven’t been going that long, so it’s early days, but I’d like to get to a point where I have regular customers.”

Prior to starting up the business Tracey came along to The Women’s Organisation where she accessed free help and advice in starting up her business, under the business start-up programme. She worked on a one-to-one basis with a business adviser who supported her in putting a business plan together.

She said: “The help I received from The Women’s Organisation was excellent. My adviser Mike was extremely supportive, as well as putting my business plan together I also went on some of the courses on offer, which were also extremely helpful.”

If you would like to order some of Tracey’s freshly cooked meals or to find out more about Curtis Cuisine please visit her website at www.curtiscuisine.org.uk or Contact Tracey directly tel 07773551486, she will be happy to assist.

And, if like Tracey you are a woman in the Stockport area who is interested in starting up your own business please call 0151 236 6601 or email info@thewo.org.uk Alternatively you can visit our website at www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk

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