A graduate bravely turned down a job offer from Spotify to open a downtown hot dog business.
Sam Walford, 21, graduated from Nottingham Trent University two months ago but has already found his way to success.
With investments by the thousands and ambitious plans for the future, he has just obtained authorization to open a new business in the city.
The economics graduate turned down several job offers, including one from the global streaming music giant, to start the business of his dreams on Clinton Street on September 9.
He will have the stand set up in the street three days a week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon.
It all started in his last year of college, Sam says, as he cooked food for “all the guys” he lived with.
Sam said: “It all started in my house last year when I was living with six other guys.
“One day I just made steak, nuggets and chicken wings and we just had a big feast.
“And I thought I quite like this idea of making food for people and I was wondering if I could make some money out of it.
“I told myself at the start of the year that I would like to run my own business so that I wouldn’t have to work for anyone for a while.
“I created an Instagram page and started cooking different types of food and every week I was advertising to my followers.
“I would have a different menu every week and then people started texting me to order.
Skilled in economics and investments, he then started selling up to 20 fresh meals once a week.
In addition to working on his thesis and taking classes almost every day, he spent his Fridays cooking.
He was setting up his makeshift little restaurant in his kitchen, and customers would come looking for him through the window.
Sam recalls, “I would kind of get all my roommates out of the kitchen and deep clean the kitchen before I started cooking because it was a student house so we needed one.
“I had this little window facing the street and people would come knocking on my window and I would just distribute the food out the window.
“It was pretty cool actually.”
However, the small start-up did not prevent him from getting a 2: 1 in his diploma and being immediately spoiled by job offers.
However, Sam’s dream was to become his “own boss” and become an entrepreneur from a young age.
“I’ve had experience working at places like Spotify, and I’ve been offered positions like being a Financial Advisor Trainee and more.
“But I just thought I was really enjoying it and the next few years I would love to crack and be my own boss while I can still afford to take risks.”
Without disclosing too much information on the costs of opening a new business, he said the initial investment is “in the thousands.”
He added: “The initial investment is a reasonable amount of money, but if I were to work in a company it would only be a few months of rent or a few months of salary and I would get it back.
“So I thought it was a pretty good comeback if it went well.
“It’s something that excites me – cooking certain foods and then seeing everyone’s reaction when they eat.
“Because I studied economics at university, I can apply my course and other skills I learned to the food business that I do, so it all fits very well. “
With plenty of time to make mistakes and learn from them, he created an Instagram page for his business and signed all the documents to secure his chic hot dog in the heart of the city.
Speaking of his dream business that will soon come true, he added, “I have just moved to Deliveroo as well.
“I have had a few meetings with the manager of Deliveroo Nottingham.
“I have everything sorted out and will be ready to negotiate soon and hopefully orders will flow.
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“I also have an online presence, I think that’s so important.
“I mainly attack Instagram and Tik Tok.”
Sam’s goal is to “bring Clinton Street back to life” and design the perfect hot dog where people can enjoy their food at an affordable price.
“You can get a hot dog that’s almost a foot long with a lot of different toppings and the prices range from £ 3.50 to £ 6.50.
You can also get small jars of mac and cheese and canned drinks.
“My idea was to offer something that everyone can afford.
“For example, I would expect to pay around £ 10 for a take out, so I have meal deals for £ 9.50 and if you order it from Deliveroo you wouldn’t pay more than £ 10.50.
Considering the business of his dreams and how it will evolve over time, Sam said: “This is just the starting point, it will be good to have a facade, a gazebo on the street.
“Then people will know who I am and I hope that in a few months I can move into a real commercial kitchen.
“I have already chosen my land, I have registered with the council, so I am ready to start it.”
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