A popular Hove restaurant did not have to close for a single day in lockdown
After fearing the worst, a restaurant and beauty spa owner said he learned how to keep his businesses going through adjusting and keeping positive.
Kyriakos Baxevanis owns Nostos restaurant in Holland Road, Hove as well as two branches of the Little Jasmine day spa and beauty salon, one in New Road, Brighton, and one in George Street, Hove, and Simply Urban nail and beauty in Gardner Street, Brighton.
As the restaurant prepares to open to outdoor diners tomorrow (April 12) and the three beauty salons can also welcome customers back, the business owner has shared his lockdown experience.
Kyriakos opened the Brighton-based Little Jasmine in 2008, followed by the Hove branch in 2016, and then Simply Urban in 2019. He then turned his attention to opening a restaurant to 'do something different' and said he saw a gap in the market for a Greek restaurant offering fusion/modern food.
Having only opened Nostos in August 2019, when the lockdown was announced in March 2020, Kyriakos could not help but fear the worst.
He said: "It was dreadful. I thought that was it really. But the Government stepped up and the community came together."
Kyriakos knew he had to adapt and so he launched a bakery business and started offering free home deliveries. He also converted his servicing space into a mini market, offering Greek products along with fresh produce and other essential items and started an online grocery shop.
The restaurant established its take-away business with four delivery partners, adapting its menu to meals which would travel well in delivery boxes. And the restaurant joined food banks and other organisations to support NHS staff with weekly food donations.
Kyriakos said: "Nostos did not close even for a day. The fact that we kept open during all the lockdown periods has tremendously strengthened our relationship with the local community. Our staff have learned new skills and kept positive throughout this period."
From April 12, the restaurant will be open for outdoor diners, offering six tables with a new awning and electric heaters. To book, visit: Book a Table at Nostos the best Greek Restaurant in Brighton & Hove (nostos-hove.co.uk)For the day spa and beauty salons, the teams did all they could to keep the business going despite much less opportunity to adapt beauty services. They launched a online shop of beauty products and vouchers and offered daily tips with an online SPA at home theme. They were able to open during the periods when the lockdown was eased but Kyriakos said being able to use the furlough scheme meant he did not have to let any staff go.
Kyriakos said: "Everyone has kept positive. We have had a get-together once a week on Zoom. Everyone is really fired up to get back."
Something that has kept the teams positive has been a host of awards for the restaurant and the salons. Kyriakos also completed an open university amateur photography course and a short business course.
Looking back at the year, Kyriakos said he has learned you do not have to fear for the future. "Learn from the situation and don't be afraid," he added.
To book a treatment at the beauty salons, visit: little-jasmine.com and simply-urban.co.ukHave you also read: The Brighton and Hove pubs reopening on April 12 | Brighton & Hove Independent (brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk)