2012 Apprentice candidate plans to whisk up the food industry!

1st November 2012

The Apprentice 2012 candidate came in at number three on Sir Alan Sugar’s famous ’12-week job interview’. Now based in Birmingham, Nick is about to launch his latest food business venture, Whisk – a revolutionary mobile recipe and shopping app. Our partners at Dine Birmingham caught up with him at Gingers Bar to talk dining, turning a profit, and finding a decent coffee…

You were in Birmingham as a student [at Aston University] and now you’re back again – what are your memories of being a student here?

I came from a village to Birmingham thinking ‘Wow, what a great big city!’ It was overwhelming but as a student you quickly settle into your niche. The big clubs were a massive draw. I was very into going drinking on Broad Street at places like The Works, which was handy with Nando’s right next door!

Now that you’ve returned to the city as a graduate and entrepreneur, where do you like to eat and drink?

Nowadays, I tend to prefer pubs, like the Lord Clifden, and the Jekyll ‘n’ Hyde, which has a lot of character. Bacchus, of course, just for the decor. And not forgetting The Cube, which has an amazing view.

You launched your first food business – a coffee-selling unit – while still at university. What advice do you have for would-be gastropreneurs?

There’s no real barrier to entry in the food business, but that’s a good thing and a bad thing. It means it’s easy to get set up, but you can’t expect a good income unless you’re doing something different from everybody else. So many businesses are bankrupt in one year.

Nick also shared his thoughts on:

  • His biggest mistake when launching the start-up
  • Which of Birmingham’s new independent cafes deserve a look-in
  • The Starbucks corporation tax scandal
  • Where they serve the worst coffee in town

Read the full interview here