Nellie’s Pancake House

A £10,000 Start-up Grant Gets Nellie’s Pancake House Off to a Flipping Good Start.

Just over a year since launch – and a global pandemic to contend with – Nellie’s Pancake House in Guisborough is already planning its second venue.

We caught up with Founder and Director, Joanne Richardson, to find out how start-up support from Tees Valley Business helped set the business up for success.

Serving up a selection of sweet and savoury pancakes, alongside a vegan and gluten free menu, Nellie’s Pancake House is quickly becoming a local favourite to relax and enjoy fresh food.

Just months after opening its doors to the public in 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic hit and like many others in the hospitality sector, the business was quick to innovate and adapt its offering. Installing awnings to seat 40 diners outside the restaurant meant the business was able to double its number of covers and Joanne is confident that the business will quickly return to pre-pandemic levels of trade. In fact, plans are already in the pipeline for a second venue.

Creating Opportunities Locally

For Joanne, creating a café at the heart of its local community was central to her vision for the business. That’s why the 15-strong team of chefs, floor supervisors and waiting staff are all from the local area. Joanne also made sure to employ local tradespeople for fitting out the new premises.

Joanne explained that funding and support from Tees Valley Business was pivotal in helping to create these valuable employment opportunities.

She says: “The grant was a great support with initial employment costs and helping us find the right people for the job. It helped us to train our new team and put them on essential courses to make sure they were equipped with the right tools from the word go.”

‘Priceless’ Practical Support

Alongside this financial boost, Joanne was also able to access fully funded start-up business support.

Joanne said: “As with any new start up, there are lots of risks involved. Will the business be ready to open on time? Will we have enough customers? Will our marketing strategy work? Having a dedicated advisor on hand to work through these questions and practicalities with me was priceless.

“I received support to understand the different finance options available, alongside practical support to help me apply for and obtain the funding needed, including putting together a business plan and financial forecasts to maximise the chances of gaining investment.

“The process couldn’t have been simpler. Tees Valley Business’s start-up support has definitely helped Nellie’s get off to a flying start and I would recommend the programme to any local business.”


The Tees Valley Business start-up programme and ‘Start-Up, Scale-Up’ grant is managed by Tees Valley Business, which is the local growth hub for the Tees Valley set up by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.

To find out more about Nellie’s Pancake House you can click here to visit the website.


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