Jassu opened Nousha Lounge, her independent café bar specialising in hand-roasted gourmet coffees, cocktails and cakes baked on the premises, in the summer of 2017, in a Southampton residential suburb.
She quickly established it as a popular social hub with a distinct niche that holds its own against nearby high street chains.
Customers are drawn in throughout the day and evening by a varied, imaginative offer that extends far beyond its high-end menu, offering a delicious selection of hot beverages, alcoholic drinks and exclusively baked and beautifully hand-decorated cakes and brownies by Biggies Bakery.
Jassu knew that it was vital to strike a chord with the local community as the quiet area has no tourists, workers or business visitors and residents would make up almost all footfall.
A warm welcoming vibe was created by a series of varied, imaginative attractions, such as adult colouring book sessions, games nights, cocktail classes and a book club. In addition, all staff have been recruited locally, so there are strong bonds with their families and friends.
Distinctive mood lighting and music enhanced the appeal and Nousha Lounge is now a vibrant neighbourhood focal point, where friends gather and local interest groups hold their meetings.
With the hospitality sector hallmarked by tight margins and high risks; the cost of energy having a potentially make-or-break impact on any business that relies on coffee roasting machines, cooking facilities and refrigeration; and an uncertain wider economic outlook at start-up, the young entrepreneur wanted no obstacles or additional costs from suppliers - including her energy provider
Jassu said: “I was aware that many firms demand upfront deposits and credit checks from business customers, both of which are entirely unacceptable to me. I couldn’t tie up valuable capital like that and didn’t want my commercial goals thwarted or delayed by needless red tape – or the risk of paying a higher tariff because somebody I’d never met wasn’t happy with my credit score.
“Cash and time are both far too valuable to a new business to be careless with them and with that in mind, I also sought the lowest possible rates and the ability to keep an eye on energy usage, for budgeting and to identify possible savings.”
As a result, the go-ahead barista shopped around for the best deal, one that was transparent and fair.
The Utilita Business Energy smart meter fixed tariff has proved ideal. Like all Utilita contracts, it demands no cash up front or background checks; offers the most competitive rates and comes with no hidden terms and conditions.
It all adds up to a major boost to Nousha Lounge’s competitive advantage. If power costs were higher, they would make it harder for Jassu to source premium ingredients and cope with the recently-introduced sugar tax.
She has also been highly impressed with Utilita’s reaction times and security of supply: “A power outage was resolved in five minutes. The quick turnaround was absolutely crucial for me because I simply cannot be without power for much longer than that as it affects my ability to generate revenue almost instantly.”
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“I was aware that many firms demand upfront deposits and credit checks from business customers, both of which are entirely unacceptable to me. I couldn’t tie up valuable capital like that and didn’t want my commercial goals thwarted or delayed by needless red tape – or the risk of paying a higher tariff because somebody I’d never met wasn’t happy with my credit score.”
Jassu - Nousha Lounge, Southampton