Business Hero – Feasted, Newcastle Under Lyme
People and businesses everywhere have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. But here in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, some businesses have done more than just survive. Many have changed business models, working practices or even completely pivoted to a very different economy, and some have even helped people or businesses in what is a very human crisis.
In this series of articles businesses share their stories and some of the pearls of wisdom they have picked up along the way.
Whilst everyone has done something different, they’ve also all benefited from some of the business support available – to help you thrive, not just survive.
Business Leader Cris Cohen: Founder, Feasted
Company name: Feasted
Business activity (day job): Fine food restaurateur
Business activity during (Covid-19): Food consultancy, a new gastronomy course with Stoke-on-Trent College from September and supporting families through food from the first week of lock-down.
Pearls of wisdom to thrive not just survive: Believe in yourself and your purpose, and use your network to work around the problem.
Cris Cohen is the founder of Feasted. Born out of Cris’s passion for flavour and food, Feasted exists to create amazing dishes and to educate around the future of food.
With multiple avenues to its work, one of the core offerings is private fine dining experiences, falling under the titles Board, Once upon a Plate, BBQ and Corporate.
As the pandemic played out, Cris knew he needed to do diversify, quick, but still work towards his vision. He first thought of something that offered accessible education and something to do at home with the kids in the midst of lock-down, combining fine flavours with easy to follow recipes that the family could get involved in.
At this point, the hero curry was born and Cris took to Facebook to share it with his followers. With immune boosting qualities and seasonal ingredients, the recipe was an immediate hit.
Cris said: “Following on from the interest in the hero curry recipe, I took to Facebook Live in the first week of lock-down with a scone recipe.
“The response was incredible, and the video got over 10,000 views. The feedback was really positive with many people saying they were finding it a real antidote to lock-down. It was for me, too’’
Reignited, Cris went from strength to strength, even employing two people in lock-down.
‘’What really helped me to diversify and look for other avenues was about continuing to believe in the vision and using your networks to draw inspiration from. This was absolutely key for me. Networks helped me to work round the problem – there are always other ways to achieve your goal, it just might not be the way that you originally thought of.
Covid-19 is just circumstance, it doesn’t mean that everything has to stop – it just means there needs to be a change. Stick to your vision.’’
Cris surrounded himself with a cluster of creative people that he found really empowering. This included the people and business support that Cris regularly engages with through his membership of the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce.
‘’The Business Development Courses and events were first class and led me to my go-to people: Molly Gould and Ben Farr. We connected straight away and they genuinely are trying to support my success as much as possible.”
The strings to Cris’ bow are now multiple; he’s a consultant to clients on many projects, is looking to redefine Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent food, and as a chef and a teacher, has collaborated with Stoke on Trent College. The Feasted Level III Gastronomy course launches in September.
“I want to help produce great chefs that meet the need, and indeed, lead the future of food – because that’s different to now, ‘’ Chris explains. ‘’But this course will also produce responsible influencers who understand sustainability, multi-culturalism and social responsibility. This will be a complete change in curriculum. It’s very exciting times.’’
Follow Feasted’s lead with business support bespoke to you.
Cris has benefited from a range of business support including:
- As a standard Member of the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce . Find out more about the membership packages available
- From specialist advice and workshops from the Growth Hub – a partnership organisation commissioned by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership, accountable to Staffordshire County Council