23 May 2022

Food entrepreneurs inspire students on Drop-Down Day

The school was thrilled to welcome food entrepreneurs James and Melanie Thompson as guest speakers on a recent Drop-Down Day for Year 10 students. The owners of Pride and Provenance – a booming café restaurant and food delivery business next to the Piece Hall Halifax – dropped in to talk to BTEC Enterprise students.

Their inspiring journey to success began with a desire to open a café. However, few could have predicted the trials and tribulations endured by the couple as they grappled with restaurant lockdown closures. Students listened intently to how the couple had to quickly develop new ideas to pay the rent.  

Overnight, Pride and Provenance became a meal delivery operation, but that was just the start of their business diversification. While James bulk bought a consignment of wine to sell to customers, Mel turned to tasty deli ingredients that would make delicious accompaniments. Soon the business was offering cheeses, charcuterie and olives to a growing, loyal customer base.   

Bespoke hampers and gift boxes followed. When the country emerged from its third lockdown, the initial café restaurant business was profiting from two revenue streams. Since then, the couple have opened P&P Markets, a stylish food shop enabling customers to browse and buy specially selected foods and beverages.  

James and Mel clearly displayed their passion and energy for business and their appetite for hard work. It was paying dividends! James told students, "Running a business is a 24/7 job! It takes a lot of hard work, and you need high levels of resilience." James paid tribute to his wife, Mel, for her extraordinary gift for social media marketing. Utilising several platforms, she upped their profile and saw their valued, regular customer base grow. 

Pride and Provenance now rank #1 out of 222 Halifax restaurants on Trip Advisor and receive glowing reviews from customers. "It's my go-to, and I always bring my visitors to eat here." says one reviewer.   

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