Call centre workers shake up soft drinks market

Two former call centre workers are overcoming a double redundancy and launching the North-East's first milkshake bar.

Two former call centre workers are overcoming a double redundancy and launching the North-East's first milkshake bar.

Ian Philpot and Leanne Fenwick, who were both made redundant after combined service of more than a decade for mobile phone firm Orange, are opening the doors to Shakeaholic on Saturday. The 26-year-olds, both from Peterlee in County Durham, have invested more than £25,000 fitting out the bar at 88 Clayton Street in Newcastle city centre.

Ian said: "I initially had the idea of starting up a business when I was on holiday with my brother last summer.

"We flew back into Bristol airport and, as I've always loved milkshakes, we walked into a milkshake bar in the city centre.

"Milkshake bars are thriving in the south of England and we saw an opportunity to bring the concept to the North-East."

Shakeaholic will take customers' favourite chocolate bars and blend them into milkshakes.

The pair both gained a place on the New Entrepreneur Scholarship course at Durham University Business School. They also received a grant from the Prince's Trust and funding towards their marketing strategy from Business Link Tyne & Wear.

Leanne says: "Opening a further two milkshake bars, one in Sunderland and one in Durham, is our longer-term aim."

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