ALMA: Access to Language Methods for Increasing Migrants' Abilities to Start Their Own Business

alma: Access to  Language Methods

ALMA: Access to Language Methods for Increasing Migrants’ Abilities to Start Their Own Business is a European cooperation project aimed at stimulating migrants to begin a new business, to inspire and provide them with practical guidelines in order to start and run a successful company within a new cultural and linguistic context.

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Role Models' Profiles

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Photo of Michelle’s Café and Kitchen

Michelle’s Café and Kitchen

An entrepreneur inspired by world cuisine

As soon as you walk into Michelle’s ‘Café and Kitchen’ you know you just entered a universe of great local and world food. You can expect an excellent service and a commitment to quality.  Michelle Booth is clear that standards and consistency are the key ingredients of her kitchen’s success. High hygiene and high quality have always been her focus and international cuisine keeps her interested. When she cooks, she travels! 

Her kitchen is simple and varied, cooked with fresh seasonal ingredients. She has no suppliers but cooks from ‘her larder’ and handpicks everything fresh daily from the local butchers and nearby farms. When she talks about the importance of the quality of the ingredients, the need to shop local and the need for high standards of quality, her eyes sparkle. You can tell Michelle is not only passionate for food but is mostly committed to cooking in a natural, ethical, and sustainable way. 

Michelle knows her clients well and caters for them with attention to detail, great service, and her passion of glorious food. She has cultivated her regulars over the years, who now follow her throughout her culinary journeys: From Sunday roast, comforting soups, and salads to world cuisine including her katsu and sushi. Her recipes come from as close as Lancashire, where she is originally from, to as far as the Middle East, Asia, or the Caribbean. Newcomers to her kitchen will be coming down for a day trip to the beach looking for a tasty picnic or good coffee and cake. 

Michelle’s tips for new businesses

Michelle is a true hospitality enthusiast. She lived in Spain for three years by the sea. Running a business abroad has taught her a lot and shaped who she is today. She learned Spanish and learned so much about the local culture during her time there. 

Her top tips for those who are new to setting up a business in the hospitality sector are clear and simple:

  • Work for someone first before you open your business. Do not go to a big city as you will only be a number there. Small towns offer a stronger sense of community and can help you develop. So first try small. 
  • Try to be flexible and open to new opportunities, your way will not be everyone else’s way so try to adapt to the area you move to. Having said that, you also need to have your own personality and put your own mark to your business. 
  • Never take language or culture for granted. Learn the local language as any job in hospitality is sociable and language helps so much with cultural understanding. Be aware of unconscious bias and keep an open mind. 
  • If you are new to the area, explore, network and talk with people to understand the business context, the social connections and feel the place. You will want to mix with locals a lot too to understand their needs and build local support.