THE candle was lit and the birthday celebration was under way.
A Hartlepool bistro marked its first birthday with a look back on 12 months of success – but with no intentions of resting on any laurels.
Bigger and better things are planned at Taste@one77 which was set up in York Road as a place for budding young chefs to learn their trade.
Since February 2010, 38 young adults have been trained on placements of between four and 13 weeks.
Some are doing NVQ level 2 in catering and hospitality.
Manager Anne Bell said: “It has been a great first year and we now have a sandwich, soup and jacket potato stall at the One Life Centre.”
Hartlepool Borough Coun Pam Hargreaves is also the chairman of Hartlepool Youth Ltd which owns the building and set up the enterprise.
She said its success had been “superb” and added: “Pretty early on, we had to fit more tables in to accommodate customers.
“We are developing the culinary skills as well as the customer service skills of young people.”
As to the future, bigger and better things are planned, said Coun Hargreaves.
“Year One was about getting up and running. Year Two will be about how we promote what we do and how we increase footfall.”
The bistro will be trying to secure TROCN accreditation in the next year but in the meantime, the team of two full-time staff – manager Anne Bell and chef Allan Guffick – have been praised for their first-year achievements.
“They do an amazing job,” said Coun Hargreaves.
Taste@one77 is run by the umbrella Hartlepool Families First movement. It is open from 10am to 3pm from Monday to Saturday.
Coun Carl Richardson, the chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council which supports the bistro, said: “I wish them all the success in the future. We are going through a difficult period at the moment and things like this help young people and the community as a whole.”