A ‘bon’ business idea from ex-tourism chief

A FORMER tourism chief has started up her own business – offering single people aged over 35 a chance to meet.

Julia Frater was the head of visitTeesvalley until it folded in January this year.

But now, Julia is going it alone as the director of her newly formed business called Bon Amis which will host everything from fine dining to country walk. She described it to the Hartlepool Mail as “social networking for unattached individuals over 35”.

She added: “I wanted to carry on with doing something for the area. I wanted to set it up for people who fancy doing lots of things like playing croquet or getting cookery lessons from a chef.

“It could be things like learning conversational French. It is for individuals who are looking for things to do with like-minded people.”

Bon Amis will be officially unveiled on Saturday, March 5, at the Rockliffe Hall Hotel near Darlington.

Julia is planning to organise activities such as fine dining, behind-the-scenes visits to local art galleries, dancing, country walks, or a day at the races.

She added: “I set it up for people who perhaps can’t get that work-life balance, and people who are moving back to the area because of work and have not established a group of friends.”

Julia plans to use settings throughout the region including Hartlepool as meeting places and added: “It is not a dating agency. It is an opportunity for people to have some activities to enjoy with no strings attached.”

Explaining why she set it up, Julia said: “I thought there was a niche in the market for it. Everyone said it was really good and some people even said ‘I wish I didn’t have a partner!’”