Inspiring Story: Oana’s Coffee Shop

Business Name: Oana’s Coffee Shop

Support received: Start Up Loan and Start and Grow

Location: St Ives, Cambridgeshire


Based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, Oana’s is a coffee shop with a traditional Transylvanian twist. Dean Castel tells Nwes about his start-up journey.

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“I wanted to be my own boss. I knew I could bring something new to the market.”

What was your motivation for starting your own business?

I wanted to be my own boss.  I knew I could bring something new to the market, so after 21 years I took voluntary redundancy as a supermarket manager.

Tell us about your business and what makes it unique?

Oana’s Coffee Shop, brings a traditional Transylvanian treat to St Ives, for example, Chimney Cakes, which are a sweet pastry, cooked on a special spindle and topped with things like Nutella, cinnamon, coconut and sugar.

How has Nwes supported you?

After approaching Barclays, I was directed to Nwes for support in setting up and growing my business.  I worked with Nwes Advisor, Jean McNeil, to craft a business plan, and built my skills in marketing and finance. 

The support provided was key to helping me to develop my business.  The help has been invaluable in building my plan and motivating me through the tougher times.  I received a Start Up Loan to help launch the business.

Has your business grown?

I launched Oana’s Coffee Shop less than a year after my first meeting with Nwes and I now employee three staff.

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