Becky was from a small village called Jacksdale in Nottinghamshire but now lives in Alfreton Derbyshire. She left her job as an advocate in January 2020 to take over the running of a restaurant in Melton Mowbray with her partner.
Their business is called Luck & Boo and is based at Apteekki in the centre of Melton. “We chose “Luck & Boo” because my partner always makes me jump as I can’t hear him coming so he nicknamed me Becky Boo! My nickname for him is Lucky, simply because he’s lucky to have me of course!”
Becky has always been passionate about equality & diversity and spent over 15 years of her career in jobs that advocated for disabled people and people who use the mental health system. One day she realised that her ethics didn’t match her actions in terms of what she ate, and after looking into things more she became vegan.
Her partner is a highly trained chef and has worked all over the world in Michelin standard restaurants. He too became vegan after becoming more aware and realised he could adapt most meals/food to become vegan and found that they tasted amazing. Together they started doing vegan pop-up events at local restaurants, including The School House restaurant in South Normanton and Apteekki in Melton alongside their full-time employed jobs. They did this for 2 years, building up a name for themselves and eventually got the opportunity to take over Apteekki full time.
“We love running the restaurant and we have an amazing staff who are very open and creative when it comes to my deafness. I have always tried to make sure people I speak to know I need to lipread, and I generally am able to communicate well because people use their initiative. It can sometimes be very stressful in the kitchen when it’s busy and I have had to remind people I lipread (including my partner at times), but we always find a way together.”
Things have been more difficult since the pandemic started due to face masks, so Becky has to remind people more and she has lost a bit of her confidence in working on the front-of-house side of the business. Luckily, their customers are also very creative people, so they instantly find a way to communicate with Becky. It’s all about working together to find the best solution.
Becky and her partner took over the restaurant in January 2020 and she gave up her full-time job as an advocate – “it was the worst time to do this but we had no idea about the pandemic at that time. We had a very successful first few months, but then lockdown happened and we had to adapt our business model and just offer takeaways. Because we were a new business and had just given up our employed jobs, we were unable to access any self-employment financial support, so it has been a very tough year but we have worked hard to keep our business afloat and staff in jobs and we’ve been fully booked for takeaways most weeks! We are now looking forward to reopening properly next week after doing some renovations.”
Their plan for the future is to build their restaurant business back up again and keep providing delicious food in a compassionate way. They have also a number of weddings to cater for. Wow, that is exciting!
Becky’s advice to other deaf women who would like to consider going into a self-employed business: “The advice I’d give to other deaf women going into business is to make use of all the creative ways to communicate and don’t be afraid to tell people what you need from them. Our skills around communication as deaf people are very high, as we have always had to adapt and find solutions. So have confidence in yourself and use these skills to your advantage. Hearing people will also enjoy learning new ways to communicate and this will help your business be personable.”
“If I could give advice to a younger version of myself it would be to not worry what other people think and don’t let anxiety around being deaf stop you trying new things.”
Luck & Boo
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