A HARTLEPOOL man has achieved his dream by opening a music academy combined with a cafe.
Andrew Ingledew, 50, has formed Cafe9 in Church Square in the town. It has already provided a jobs boost for two guitar teachers and a music assistant who are employed in the upstairs academy as well as five staff in the food section.
And if the project continues to be a success, further posts may follow as more students sign up.
Andrew, the director of the business and head of music at the new venture, said: “I wanted this place to be somewhere where I would want to go myself if I had a night off.
“I am 100 per cent music and that is my main thrust. My aim was to set up a music academy with a live music cafe.”
His plan is to have a place where people can learn a musical instrument - and then have a perfect venue for them to perform their new-found skills.
Andrew has been both a private teacher of music in Hartlepool for decades, as well as a part-time music teacher at English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College.
He said: “I teach students to play and I want to encourage them to perform.”
Andrew, a father-of-three, had been a home-based private music teacher for 25 years. “I taught them music and made them coffee when they came for a lesson. It’s where the idea of a coffee shop and music base came from.
“Also, parents can sit downstairs and have a coffee while they wait for their children who are having lessons upstairs. I think it has created a nice environment.”
Andrew, who is married to Denise, 49, plans to hold regular acoustic music nights on Fridays and Saturdays, called pindrop sessions.
He admitted that money has been invested into the businees but he added: “The main investment has been hard work, effort and time.
“The feedback we are already getting is good. We are getting quite busy and this is a little area of Hartlepool with things like the art college and the college of further education nearby so there’s a bit of a revival here.
“We are hoping to offer group sessions, and expand to take on another music teacher and music assistant.
“And if someone wanted to learn a particular musical instrument, I would get someone in.”