Apprenticeship pays off for De Melo

Apprenticeship pays off for De Melo

The entrepreneur behind Middlesbrough restaurant De Melo has praised the role an apprentice has played in developing his business.

Imran Ayoub runs De Melo, an independent espresso, patisserie and dessert restaurant on Linthorpe Road with his wife Nadia and recruited 18 year-old Scarlett Tyler as an apprentice through Middlesbrough College.

Launched eight months ago, De Melo is already looking to grow its presence in the town with an independent bakery and Imran says he is impressed with the enthusiasm and initiative Scarlett has brought to the fast-paced small business.

Imran, a former ITV journalist and graduate of Teesside University, said: "We launched the business eight months ago, with a plan to open our 2nd and 3rd stores in three to five years. The response has been absolutely fantastic.

“Me and my wife have been so impressed with Scarlett’s contribution to this growth. We require our staff to be really proactive and have an eye on all quarters of the business, and Scarlett does exactly that.

“Her appetite for learning and her use of initiative is fantastic – it’s just what we need to keep De Melo growing.

“We’ve employed apprentices in the past, one of which we hired following her studies because she was so good. We’re hoping to find ourselves in a similar position with Scarlett.”

As an apprentice Scarlett has gained experience across the business – including general front of house duties and customer service.

She spends up to 30 hours a week at the restaurant on her 12 month contract, which includes regular assignment work and assessments.

Scarlett, who is a keen baker herself, added: “Working at De Melo has given me the opportunity to train in how to make coffee and make desserts – which I love doing.

“It’s a great team here and I really feel like I’ve got a work family.”

De Melo’s has proved so popular that Imran and his wife are now considering opening a separate bakery premises to supply the eatery and future venues with the cakes and sweet treats the team has gained a reputation for.