Avid gamer Matthew Martin and his wife Corina are enjoying their new venture as joint owners of a mobile fish and chip business following many years of long unsociable hours in the hospitality trade.
The couple, who have a 13-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son decided to go for broke after their working conditions were changed, leaving them extra stress with childcare and less time together as a family.
“It was really all about lifestyle, and fitting around our family.”, explains Martin: “I had been working for a large blue-chip pub chain, but the hours were terrible, so I left and got a job in car-sales. Following redundancy, I joined my wife in catering at MOD Stafford.
“Contractual changes led to some hard thought about the way we worked and prioritised family life.
“We decided to take a leap of faith, take redundancy and start our own business. We had talked about self-employment for a while and had an idea that a mobile fish and chip van would be a good business idea.
“We then contacted Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce where we linked up with start-up advisor, Aly Davidson. Aly was incredibly helpful in helping us with everything we needed to know about starting ad running a business.
“The Chamber also helped us to source a loan to buy the van through BizBritain. We bought a second-hand van fitted out with brand new equipment in January 2021 and we were ready to go at the end of March.
“The first outing was really nerve-wracking, we did a couple of test runs in Stafford, but we had no complaints, and we now make regular weekly visits to Seighford, Ranton and Yarnfield as well as taking private bookings and function work at weekends. And we recently got our first five-star review on Trip Advisor.
“We have never worked harder but this is our choice, and we make all the decisions, and importantly it puts us in control and gives us what we always wanted – a positive work-life balance with plenty of time for the family.”
Asked about the business name, gaming fanatic Martin answered: “We tried a few names. I am big fan of Call of Duty on my Xbox and as soon as I said ‘Cod of Duty’, Corina said it sounded so right, not only because of my gaming addiction but, because of our background in military catering.”
Davidson said: “It’s great to see Martin and Corina doing so well. They both have an incredible work ethic and drive to make their business a success. I always say there is a business in all of us, and sometimes we just need a wee push to bring it to life.”
If you are thinking of starting a business and would like to discuss your plans, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01782 202222.
Photo: Corina and Matthew Martin (credit: Jon Cartwright )