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Starting a Social Enterprise fresh outta' Uni ... Am I crazy?

Updated: Jan 31

Am I Crazy? Launching a Street Food Business Straight Out of University

For those of you who have patiently sifted through my endless posts and supported the relentless pursuit of launching my first-ever business, welcome! Today marks the beginning of sharing my journey with you—of the highs, lows, and everything in between—on the tumultuous road of creating Ringo's Dirty Diner.

The Genesis: A Bond Beyond Distance

Let's rewind to 2018 when I was soaking up the vibrant energy of Amsterdam but missing my brother, Steve, more than words could express. Our bond, forged over shared struggles with mental health during my college years, had become an anchor for both of us. Steve, not content with his professional path, had just welcomed Ringo, a spirited pup, into his life. Little did I know that this furry companion would play a pivotal role in shaping our futures.

Ringo: More Than a Furry Friend

Ringo, beyond being a cute ball of fur, became a lifeline for Steve. In the stories of others, I discovered the profound impact animals could have on people facing challenges. From the homeless man in Cardiff finding solace through his dog's bark to the woman who found comfort when her cat cuddled with her, these narratives resonated deeply. The seed of an idea sprouted, and I couldn't help but envision a venture that not only served great food but also made a positive impact.

Dreaming Big: Ringo's Dirty Diner

When the idea of starting a business post-university entered the conversation with my brother, I threw out the words "Ringo's Dirty Diner." Back then, the concept was grandiose—a café with an eclectic menu, plush sofas, endless books, games, and a daily rotating selection of cakes. In my head, it was a utopia where we helped everyone in need.

Evolution, Not Compromise

While the initial vision may have been a tad fantastical, certain core elements have remained unchanged. The name, the essence of comfort wrapped in luxury, and the commitment to aiding others have stood the test of time.

A Work in Progress: The Unveiling Soon

As I pen down this post, Ringo's Dirty Diner isn't open yet. We're tweaking the finer details, ensuring everything aligns with our vision before the grand launch. The journey from an Amsterdam dream to what I hope will be a thriving street food company has been transformative, and I'm eager to share every stage with you.

What's Next? Follow Our Journey!

Stay tuned for the upcoming blog posts where I'll delve into the nitty-gritty of my experiences. For more frequent updates, check out our social media accounts [@ringosdirtydiner]. Your support means the world.

Signing Off with Love,

Natasha x

************Edited 2024: Gratitude for Three Years of Flavors and Community

As I pen down these words in 2024, I find myself reflecting on the incredible journey that Ringo's Dirty Diner has traversed over the past three years. The path has been filled with flavors, resilience, and heartfelt connections that have shaped our story.

Our presence in the Welsh Streetfood Awards, with two nominations, and the recognition as finalists in the British Streetfood Awards, despite not being able to attend, fills us with a deep sense of accomplishment. Each accolade represents the passion and dedication we infuse into every dish.

The residencies at Tiger Bay, Sticky Fingers, and Depot Cardiff have not just been venues; they've been stages where our culinary tales have unfolded. These places hold not only the aroma of our dishes but also the memories of shared moments and stories.

From the historic grounds of St Fagans to the lively Streetfood Circus in Roath Yard, we've traversed the UK street food scene, leaving a trail of delicious memories in London, Cardiff, Newport, the Valleys, and Bristol.

The privilege of being part of various events—weddings, corporate gatherings, office parties, and even funerals—speaks to the versatility of our street food. The calls from new places asking us to pop up are a testament to the impact we've made.

Media features on Wales Online, Penarth Times and even a video edited by the BBC blog posts have allowed us to share not just our love for food but also our commitment to making a positive impact in our community.

To our cherished street food community, family & friends, our loyal customers, and the event organizers who have stood by us, we extend our deepest gratitude. Your support has been the heartbeat of Ringo's Dirty Diner.

As we look ahead, we're filled with excitement and gratitude for the future chapters of our journey. Here's to more years of serving our community with flavors that tell a story.

With heartfelt thanks,

Natasha, Steve & Ringo x

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