Jojo's Cafe Bar
JoJo’s café bar in Cowley Road, Oxford, has one mission: “To make our guests leave happier than when they arrived.”
Joint owner, Jonathan Corp has been in the hospitality business as a regional manager for over thirty years. For the last three years, he has been running a hotel for a friend in Weymouth. “I had a desire to own my own business for around twenty years of my career,” he explained.
Four years ago Jonathan met his partner Jo. “After meeting Jo, we decided to start up our own business. The branding was a five-minute conversation! Her name is Josephine and I’m Jonathan, so that’s is how the name ‘JoJo’s came about. Our guests love that story.”
Key Support from OxLEP Business
Despite Jonathan’s experience in the hospitality industry, he was new to the Oxfordshire area and was looking for support to help give him some direction with their new venture. “I hadn’t heard of OxLEP before and being new to the area, I had no local contacts. Contacting OxLEP was what set me on my journey. The minute I made contact with them, they were so helpful. I didn’t know what support I was eligible for. They guided me in the right direction and provided me with one-to-one support and mentoring. The timing was perfect because they were just beginning a session for start-up businesses. I went through six webinars with them.”
Jonathan and Jo were given one-to-one support by an experienced OxLEP business advisor where he advised on formulating a business plan. “We were able to throw lots of random questions his way and he was able to give us really good direction on how to make a start. Nothing was out of his remit in terms of guidance. OxLEP’s connections made it possible for us to get the support in every area we needed it.”
“They signposted us to a fantastic local accountant, who has been amazing. He has transformed our business plan.”
A Bright Future
“OxLEP has given us the knowledge and the confidence to move forward with the business. I appreciate the way they ask for feedback too – meaning they are constantly improving their support service for other businesses in the future. They provided every aspect of information and signposting of where to go.
Everyone is very approachable and helpful. I feel the support comes through whenever you talk to someone.
Looking to the future, we have plans to fit a new kitchen with a state of the art convection oven and commercial microwave. Following that, we are looking to employ a chef or two, so that I can remain front of house.
We both feel very positive about the future, and a large part of that is down to the support and advice we’ve received from OxLEP.”