Warrior launches new coffee shop – with a little help from Council

Former Worcester Warriors winger Sam Smith has launched a speciality coffee shop and brunch spot, which promises to have mouths watering across the city.
Twenty-six-year-old Sam, who retired from Worcester Warriors in the summer, received a business start-up grant from Worcester City Council in the run-up to the official launch of Wayland’s Yard on Saturday October 22.
Located just three doors from Worcester’s Foregate Street Station, Wayland’s Yard (6 Foregate Street WR1 3DR) is a unique outlet offering speciality coffee, brunch and baked goods – including freshly made sandwiches, cakes and snacks. 
Sam’s team have been busy creating an exciting new interior for the Grade II listed building, drawing on Scandanavian and industrial influences.  The entrepreneur applied to Worcester City Council for a business start-up grant to cover some of the conversion and decoration costs.
The business received a grant of £1,000, which Sam match-funded from his own reserves.  As part of the grant conditions, he also received free business start-up advice arranged via Worcestershire Business Central, and had to submit a business plan.
Sam Smith said: “The support and advice I received has been invaluable. It is a big switch to move from rugby to running a coffee shop, so there were a lot of areas where the City Council’s advice was very greatly received. I would fully encourage other people thinking of starting their own business to make the most of this scheme.”
The business employs the equivalent of nine staff, six of them full-time.
Wayland’s Yard is one of 16 businesses to have received a grant from Worcester City Council over the past 12 months, totalling £15,700.  Other businesses to have benefitted from the grants include Zip Yard, J C Lelis Deli and Café and Spires Travel.
“I’m delighted that following a very successful career in rugby, Sam is now fulfilling another ambition - to run his own business.  I wish Wayland’s Yard every success for the future,” says Cllr Geoff Williams, Cabinet Member for Economic Prosperity and Growth.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of Worcester’s economy, and the City Council would like to encourage more businesses like Sam’s to contact us and benefit from the range of advice and support we can offer.”
Worcester City Council offers start-up grants of up to £1,000 and growth grants of up to £3,000 for local businesses.  For more information, go to www.worcester.gov.uk/business or call 01905 722106.