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Mike and Becky's Member Story

It’s been a case of ‘blue sky thinking’ since Becky Prason and husband, Mike, opted for a complete change of lifestyle, re-locating to the Cornish town of Falmouth, to open their own Blues-themed American diner.

The Little Red Rooster, located on Bar Road in Falmouth Docks, has everything you would expect of an American diner in the Deep South of the USA, with décor, food and music all evoking the mood, taste sensations and rhythm of life by the bayou.

Inspired by a visit to New York, the diner focuses on dishes as varied as jambalaya and a Goin’ Down Slow burger, with many names of the fayre served on the menu emanating from the titles of famous Blues hits.  Dishes are made on the premises, using the finest locally-sourced ingredients, creating an experience that is all-American with an inimitable Cornish twist.

Having spotted a derelict building during one of their many visits to Falmouth, and having decided that Cornwall was where they wished to bring up their children, the diner-dreaming couple gave up their jobs in Manchester and headed to the south west.

Luckily, Becky’s builder father, Steve, was able to transform a rundown building that had been unoccupied for nine years and turn it into a two-storey diner, complete with panoramic first-floor windows overlooking the ancient Falmouth Docks.

Although Mike had worked in catering for 22 years, he was au fait with fine dining and the art of rustling up delicious food, but not used to running a business that required a roster of staff to help serve up the amazing burgers, ribs, wings and special treats such as jambalaya, that the Little Red Rooster’s menu would boast.

Becky, on the other hand, was entering into the venture as its part-time business administrator, whilst still being a part-time primary school teacher.  Given their need to know more about operating a business, the couple went on a free course, where one pearl of wisdom frequently given by the tutor was to “join the Federation of Small Businesses.”

Becky and Mike heeded this advice and haven’t regretted it. Becky said:

“Our FSB membership has just been amazing. It’s actually easier for us to say what we’ve not used, than what we have.”

Becky explains how their first need related to drawing up health and safety policies, followed by assistance with employment law and staff recruitment.  Using the employment forms available from FSB enabled them to attract 110 applicants for employment – an amazing response.

“We found all the document templates we could have wished for, including all the training policies we needed, simply by visiting our FSB member area and downloading them.  It would have taken us hours to scour the internet and find this sort of paperwork and we would never have known if we could trust it.  With FSB’s documents, we got compliant and relevant forms and information. We simply couldn’t have done what we did, without FSB’s help.”

Since opening the Little Red Rooster in March 2016, even more of FSB’s services have been taken up. The family business now runs with the assistance of charge-free FSB Business Banking and an FSB Mobile Card Payment Terminal, and heating, lighting and power runs on an energy tariff sourced through FSB Energy.

The business is operating on as low a cost base as possible thanks to these services and also taking electronic payments, through a trusted provider. 

Becky adds, “We are now looking at using FSB Financial Services as well and when our staging date for pension auto-enrolment arrives, we shall, no doubt, need help from FSB Workplace Pensions.

“We are so grateful that our business course tutor tipped us off about FSB membership.  We just wouldn’t have got as far as we have, without the assets that this gave us and all the help and advice that we’ve been able to access.”

With nearly nine months trading under its belt, the Little Red Rooster is going from strength to strength, delighting everyone from the local resident who orders her daily hot dog, to the tourists who flocked to Falmouth during the summer. 

With their suite of FSB support services, this vibrant American diner has truly achieved something to crow about.

If you'd like to get in touch with us and share your member story, simply email: yourstories@fsb.org.uk. If you're not a member of FSB and you'd like to sign up, follow this link which will take you to our join portal.

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