A Burnley chef has realised a lifelong dream after opening a sandwich shop in Burnley town centre.
Natalie Zara Nawaz spent two-a-half months renovating the former Get Stuffed premises in Boot Way before serving her first customer at The Olive Pot – Healthy Options.
The 30-year-old said she had become tired of working long hours as a chef and was now looking forward to putting her skills and experience into a new venture.
“I’ve always wanted to have a butty shop. I’ve been a chef for 15 years but didn’t like the hours.
“I wanted to open a business in my home town. We want to try and open another in a couple of years and maybe have a butty van for festivals.
“It’s been a bit nerve-racking. It’s miles different, making sandwiches and running your own business, to what I was doing before. I actually think this is harder.”
The former Mansfield High School pupil trained to be a chef at Nelson and Colne College.
She worked at The Fighting Cocks Inn for three-and-a-half years and The Pack Horse for 10 years before taking up head chef roles at The Bamford Arms and then The Halfway House.
“We want to offer a healthy alternative. I’ve always worked with fresh food and that’s what I want to offer. People seem to like it so far.
“The menu is flexible. People come in and ask for different things. We’ll do it if we can. If we can’t we’ll try and add it to the menu. We’re seeing what sells and what doesn’t. We’re doing meal preps for people as well.
“I’m learning a lot as I go along. It can be stressful but I’m enjoying it.”