Mandeep Walia, who owns and manages Café 1901 in Jesmond, Gosforth and Manors in Newcastle, has hired several current staff members from the same college course she completed.
Jane Imrie

Newcastle bistro owner invests in local talent to expand eateries

A North East bistro owner is set for expansion by investing in local talent from the college where she gained the foundations of her catering knowledge.

Mandeep Walia, who owns and manages Café 1901 in Jesmond, Gosforth and Manors in Newcastle, has hired several current staff members from the same college course she completed.

Mandeep, who did a catering course at Gateshead College, is committed to creating opportunities for local graduates as well as expanding her businesses.

Mandeep explained: “Café 1901 sits at the heart of the local communities it serves and it’s important that we offer opportunities to local people too.

“The course I did at Gateshead College equipped me with the work ready skills I needed to dive straight into the food business sector. I know personally how great the quality of teaching and work experience is so hiring graduates from the same course makes complete business sense.”

Harry Douglas, who has recently graduated from a Level 3 catering and hospitality course at Gateshead College, commented: “The course provided a great learning experience.

“It was so hands-on and I managed to secure some excellent work placements which really helped me to understand what being a chef involved and, in turn, gave me the confidence to secure a job once I had qualified.

“My course tutor Alistair had a huge influence on my development and the combination of classroom learning and practical experience I gained has definitely equipped me with the work ready skills I need to handle the busy, high stress environment that chefs often work within. I’m already feeling part of the Café 1901 team.”

Alistair Gilchrist, curriculum leader for catering at Gateshead College, said: “It’s great to see the success Mandeep has achieved in starting her own business and then growing it with the support of talented Gateshead College alumni.”

Mandeep added: “I also believe everyone deserves a chance at real life work experience, especially those who dedicate time, money and energy into pursuing a career just like Harry and other employees have.

“We enjoy nurturing and providing opportunities for people, especially if they’ve specifically trained for their role. Everyone needs to start somewhere.”

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