Teesside food truck delivery service on road to success

A Teesside chef has launched a new food truck delivery service with the support of Tees Valley Business's Welcome Back Fund. Chef James Tulley was unable to be furloughed after starting a new job at the beginning of lockdown. However, with a grant from the GBP20m Tees Valley Business Welcome Back Fund, the Deja Food Truck has served up cuisine from different parts of the world.

James has drawn inspiration from eateries around the world, including the Black Swan at Oldstead, which has a Michelin Star and has been named the UK's best restaurant by Trip Advisor. James commented: "When coronavirus happened, I realised very quickly that I needed to use my skills to do something else and protect my income and look after my family. Deja Food Truck was born out of that need".

The Welcome Back Fund was established to help small and medium-sized enterprises through their coronavirus recovery and adapt to the 'new normal'. Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen added: "I'm delighted that Tees Valley Business and the Welcome Back Fund are providing the precise help that businesses need to thrive and grow in our region". After the initial success of Deja Food, chef James is considering collaborations with other food and drink businesses in the region, as well as new premises and branding for the food truck.

Zara Ford, growth consultant at Tees Valley Business, explained: "The Deja Food Truck has proven itself to be a success.

James' story is really inspiring, he didn't let a worrying situation get him down and instead put his entrepreneurial determination to use, quite literally road testing a business idea using his own skills and finance."

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