Serving the community in the Elswick, Westgate
and Wingrove wards of Newcastle upon Tyne

Branson backing for Beacon business

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson is one of the world’s best known entrepreneurs – so it didn’t take him long to decide he wanted to taste what ambitious North East catering company Seasons Plenty had to offer.

Owners Corrie Thomas and Jenny Scott founded Seasons Plenty – based at The Beacon – last year, scooping a £14,000 Virgin Start-up loan after impressing Sir Richard with their business plan.

And the pair were bowled over when the business leader said he wanted to discuss their options personally. He linked up with them for a web chat to talk about their work – and then invited them to Virgin’s London HQ to meet face to face.

Corrie and Jenny, both 25, asked Sir Richard for top tips about how he created his multi-million pound business empire and how a small business can expand and thrive.

“It was incredibly interesting to chat to him and then to meet him in person,” said Jenny. “He has achieved so much over so many years and yet he still had a desire to find out what we are trying to do with Seasons Plenty.”

Jenny and Corrie plan to invest the money in equipment and other essentials to boost a business which caters for private parties, corporate events,  weddings and other private celebrations, as well as hosting cookery courses.

Seasons Plenty is the latest start-up business to build its success at The Beacon, the £6.5 million community and enterprise hub developed by Centre West and Groundwork (South Tyneside and Newcastle).

Andrew Watts, Executive Director of Groundwork, said: “Jenny and Corrie’s success is very well deserved and Sir Richard clearly knows a good business model when he sees one.

Seasons Plenty is a wonderful example of a small but ambitious young company showing that it has both the talent and determination to seize every opportunity.

“They are among the many businesses that have found The Beacon to be the perfect business environment in which to develop and grow.”