Talent show winner Michael serves up desserts as he launches waffle shop
The future is looking sweet for singing sensation Michael Rice as he starts to serve up treats as well as tunes.
The 20-year-old has launched The Waffle and Crepe Shack in Oxford Road, with the business to run alongside his music career.
His winnings from BBC One show All Together Now during its debut run earlier this year saw him scoop £50,000, with the cash helping him to launch the venture in a former baby clothing store in Oxford Road.
He is being helped by mum Stephanie Langley, 37, and other family members as they create desserts for customers to take away, with a seating area also set up for people to take a break in store.
On its first day of serving guests on Monday, it was sold out two hours before it was due to close, with plenty of people turning out to try out its menu since.
Michael said: “I’ve opened up my own little business, a little venture to run alongside my singing.
“It was just a spontaneous idea, I went to bed after seeing a video on Facebook of someone making a crepe on a food stall and I just thought I could do that.
“It’s just me running it with my mam and others popping in to help.
“We’ve got different chocolate bars and fruit that we can put on waffles and crepes, there are lots of different options - it’ll be no good if you’re watching your diet.
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“They’re all sweet, but we’ll be looking at doing some savoury options.”
He added his time at McDonald’s in Burn Road had given him a good grounding in working in serving up food and ensuring customers are happy.
“It’s really prepared me, making sure that everything is ready, the food is looked after,” he said.
“It’s helped me with skills such as working with the public and customers, it taught me so much.
“The feedback we’ve had so far has been so good.
“This is something totally different for the area.”
In addition to running the cafe, Michael, a former St Aidan’s and Dyke House pupil, is preparing to launch his first album, which is already complete.
He has been in discussions with Warner Bros Records and is preparing to play at Newcastle Pride on Saturday and then Liverpool Pride next weekend.
Michael won All Together Now - fronted by Rob Beckett and Geri Horner - after beating nine others in the final screened back in March.