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Stirling’s first 100% vegan restaurant successfully launches with help from Business Gateway 

05/07/2023
Chloe Davidson and James Leask outside Stirling's Nooch Bar and Kitchen

STIRLING’S first ever fully vegan restaurant has enjoyed a successful launch after the business owner accessed expert start-up guidance from Business Gateway, Scotland’s national business advisory service.  

Nooch Bar & Kitchen, which is dog-friendly and disability accessible, has become Stirling’s first ever vegan hotspot, offering high quality, vegan meals, all made with locally sourced ingredients. Nooch also hosts live music and pub quiz events. 

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Business owner, James Leask, had discovered a passion for plant-based meals after being introduced to them by his partner, Chloe Davidson. The pair had been inspired by vegetarian and vegan cafés and restaurants while travelling in and around Europe, and when they returned to Scotland, they wanted to focus their efforts on creating a plant-based business that would also unite the local community to try something new. 

Armed with an idea to launch Nooch Bar & Kitchen, James and Chloe approached Business Gateway for support to help turn their vision into a reality. The duo was put in touch with a dedicated Business Gateway adviser, who provided one-to-one support, as well as providing advice on potential HR issues and how best to market their new business. James and Chloe also benefitted from Business Gateway’s Planning To Start Tool to test out if their business idea had legs.  

Through Business Gateway, James also attended webinars, as well as social media workshops to help develop Nooch Bar & Kitchen’s presence online.  

Additionally, James and Chloe benefitted from support in their application for funding from the Business Resilience Grant, awarded by Stirling Council. This support led to the pair receiving the critical funding which helped to keep their operations afloat.  

Since launching in December last year, Nooch Bar & Kitchen has become a popular place for vegan lovers and students alike in Stirling. The menu changes seasonally, giving local suppliers an opportunity to grow their businesses through Nooch Bar & Kitchen’s sales. It now also hosts quiz nights every Thursday and has live music from local aspiring artists. 

Most recently, James and Chloe have teamed up with Zero Waste Scotland as part of their sustainability efforts, meaning that Nooch has gone paper cup free.  

James Leask, Founder, Nooch Bar & Kitchen, commented: “My partner and I developed a passion for vegan foods and wanted to bring this to our local community. With little knowledge of where and how to start, I contacted Business Gateway and was really encouraged by our adviser’s constant support and advice. Linda really saw our vision for Nooch Bar & Kitchen and guided us all the way through.” 

Linda Letford, Business Gateway Adviser, commented: “We were able to support James and Chloe with a range of Business Gateway’s start-up services. It is so rewarding to support a business like Nooch Bar & Kitchen, which has gone on to prove very popular in the local community and beyond. I look forward to seeing the business progress further in the months ahead.” 

To find out how Business Gateway can help your business, visit: www.bgateway.com.      

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