They started life in lockdown - but how are these businesses doing now?

Francesca Cornish-Hollingsworth

Francesca Cornish-Hollingsworth, owner of Chesca's Pizzeria and Takeaway. - Credit: Chesca's Pizzeria and Takeaway

Starting a business during the height of the pandemic might sound like a bold move, but who dares wins for these Broadland and Great Yarmouth entrepreneurs.

A range of businesses started up during lockdown, finding their niche in unusual times. But how many are still going, and what are their fortunes?

Francesca Cornish-Hollingsworth, owner of Chesca's Pizzeria and Takeaway in Reedham, started her business by touring her renovated 1970s caravan when restrictions were higher.

"We could pop up anywhere," Miss Cornish-Hollingsworth said.

"It worked out so well."

Francesca Cornish-Hollingsworth

Francesca Cornish-Hollingsworth and her son by her pizzeria caravan. - Credit: Chesca's Pizzeria and Takeaway

However, a change in eating habits after lockdown forced the entrepreneur to alter her business plan.

Miss Cornish-Hollingsworth said: ""Now that lockdown is over everyone wants to go out and eat.

"People don't seem to want street food that much.

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"We'd had a couple of quiet weeks and we didn't know what to do."

Miss Cornish-Hollingsworth decided to operate from a fixed premises and at the beginning of November, she will be running her pizzeria from Cannell's Farm in Reedham.

"It's going to be somewhere people can come and sit down," Miss Cornish-Hollingsworth said.

Karen Ellis of Candy Bag in Great Yarmouth

Karen Ellis from Bradwell has been stunned by the success of her Candy Bag business. - Credit: Karen Ellis/Candy Bag

Retro style pick and mix company, The Candy Bag began selling assorted sweets online in July 2020.

By April this year, owner Karen Ellis decided to open a premises on Main Cross Road in Great Yarmouth and her partner had quit his day job to help out.

"We are extremely lucky," Miss Ellis said.

"Orders were quieter throughout the summer but we put that down to people enjoying staycations and family days out.

Candy Bag is posting sweets all over the UK from Great Yarmouth

Karen Ellis and Richard Hansby -Patterson with Maisie, 13 and Fletcher, aged eight. The family has its hands full with sweet orders from all over the UK. - Credit: Karen Ellis/Candy Bag

"Though we did receive orders from people who were holidaying nearby."

Miss Ellis said she felt encouraged by her new customers and is hopeful that the business will continue to grow.

Lucas Smith, 24, opened cocktail and dessert bar In The Mix on Great Yarmouth seafront in November 2020.

Jasmine Carrier and Lucas Smith.

Jasmine Carrier, 20, and Lucas Smith, 23, want to "bring the city to the seaside" with In the Mix. - Credit: James Weeds

"We started off just doing takeaways and it was really busy to start off with," said Mr Smith.

"We felt ready to then open up the bar once restrictions were lifted."

Inspired by cocktail bars in Norwich and London, Mr Smith and his partner Jasmine Carrier made In The Mix an Instagrammable venue for customers.

In the Mix.

In the Mix is located on Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: James Weeds

"We were really busy when we first opened despite the Track and Trace and ongoing restrictions.

"Over the summer, business in the bar was a little up and down.

"Now the weather is getting colder, deliveries have picked up again and we're getting busy again."

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