Recently in the leafy suburb Chandler’s Ford, a beautiful young lady served me fresh coffee and delicious jacket potato with chilli con carne filling.
Her name is Elleanor Straker and she is only 18 years old.
Elleanor started working for the furniture store Peter Green in the Coffee Shop when she was 16 years old. Later there was an opportunity for her to take over and run the Coffee Shop, she grabbed it in August 2013.
Elleanor went to Wyvern Technology College. At Eastleigh College she studied Health and Social care. However, she realised that business was what she wanted to do.
The coffee shop she runs at Peter Green is called Elleanor’s Tea Rooms.
How hard is it to run the Peter Green Coffee Shop at such a young age?
Elleanor: “It was a very hard job to get it all up to speed and running correctly, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself during the process.”
“I first started out working 7 days a week for the first 3 months, but after the staff were trained to a high standard and everything was in place, I was able to take a cheeky day off every now and then.”
Any other obstacles?
Elleanor: “As the business was mine at 17 I came into a few difficulties because of my age, for example, I was unable to open a business bank account until I was 18, but I found solutions and ways around that issue.”
What’s the best thing about running your own coffee shop?
Elleanor: “I would say that the best thing about my coffee shop is the people who work for me, because they are a hard-working, bubbly bunch of people. With their help, we create a comforting atmosphere for the customers.”
What kind of customers do you have?
Elleanor: “I have a variety of different customers ranging from young to old, to businessmen, builders and stay-at-home mums. I love to have a good chat with my regulars and enjoy meeting new customers.”
Tell me something about your family and Peter Green.
Elleanor: “I have been in Peter Green since I was in my mum’s tummy, as my family has always worked there.”
“My Father has worked there since he was 17 and has progressed through the ranks in his career with them. Also, my grandfather used to be floor manager before his retirement. As well as my father and grandfather, my uncle works in the carpet department.”
What dreams do you have?
Elleanor: “I have loads of dreams and ambitions. I want to own loads of different businesses. At the moment I am training to be a mobile beautician, as this is something I can do in the evenings and it gives me a chance to show my creative side. But for the big picture, my dream would be to own lots of houses and do them up to rent them out, but as you can imagine I would need a lot of money to do this.”