Telford healthy eatery in spotlight for entrepreneurial spirit

An enterprising couple who launched an innovative healthy food eatery in Lawley, Telford have seen their talents recognised in a major National Awards Scheme.

Alex Archibald and Bethany Tomlinson pictured in the right of the photo with their team at Lyfbar in Lawley, Telford
Alex Archibald and Bethany Tomlinson pictured in the right of the photo with their team at Lyfbar in Lawley, Telford

Business partners Alex Archibald and Bethany Tomlinson are thrilled to have been shortlisted in the Young Entrepreneur category of the 2019 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards for the Midlands region.

The duo behind Lyfbar in Lawley Square, which provides a healthy and convenient alternative to traditional fast food, have been invited to a celebratory evening in Birmingham on 25 September when the category winners will be announced.

Alex and Bethany will be up against seven finalists in their category which celebrates entrepreneurs aged 30 or under who challenge monopolies with fresh competition, are digital media savvy and determined to seize opportunities.

Alex said: “We already feel like winners in reaching this stage. It is a great opportunity to showcase what we do and learn from others so we can further build on our fledgling business’s success. We’d love to meet some of the judges, who are established entrepreneurs, to benefit from their insight and make valuable connections.”

He added: “We have been overwhelmed by the local support for Lyfbar and the community’s goodwill. We have shown there is an appetite for our approach in providing a social hub where people can enjoy healthier food options and learn about the benefits in an inspiring rather than a ‘preachy’ way.”

Launched in March this year, Lyfbar has already sold an incredible 52,244 food items in nearly 10,000 transactions.

Bethany works as a fitness social media influencer on Instagram (@beth_fitnessuk) with over 400,000 followers, reaching on average 4.5 million individuals a week. Her main aim is to promote balance to the online fitness community and markets the business as an ideal way to enjoy fast but healthy food as part of an active lifestyle.

Alex had run a similar business for two years on a smaller scale, and this was where he and Bethany first met. Progress was however, stalled due to the limitations of the premises. Moving and upscaling the offer was the answer to grow the business and Lawley Village as an up and coming area offered bigger premises and target customers, allowing for better service and growth.

They were also helped with mentoring and funding from the Shropshire Youth Support Trust (SYST) charity* and members of its ASYSTORS Panel which nurtures entrepreneurial Shropshire talent.

Katie Morris, one of the ASYSTOR Panellists was delighted at the news and added: “These two Shropshire entrepreneurs have shown that their sound and well researched strategy combined with their courage, tenacity and genuine hard work has paid off.  What an accolade to have been nominated in these prestigious awards.  We’re keeping everything crossed for further success.”

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