After training as a chef in the Royal Navy, Jamie Savage (33) has now launched his first pop-up restaurant in Macclesfield, specialising in mussels.
In ‘Savages Mussels’, Jamie combines mussels with modern flavours and is attracting quite a following from food-lovers. The restaurant has a permanent pitch at Altrincham Market and can pop-up anywhere in the region, from markets to festivals.
Jamie joined the Royal Navy in 2005 and served as a Chef on board HMS Northumberland for the most part of his career which included four deployments. The type-23 frigate was engaged in the intense anti-piracy operations in the gulf of Aden, years during which Jamie enjoyed the challenge of cooking for the ship’s 180 crew members.
“I joined the Royal Navy as a Chef as I wanted to test my ability to cook in an environment I wasn’t used to and gain experience from some of my superior chefs”.
Jamie rose to the rate of Kilick Chef and began to consider new culinary challenges that may lie for him in hotels. Redundancies were on the table and in 2011, Jamie took the opportunity to try a new path.
“I didn’t fancy furthering my career as a Petty Officer, being constrained to an office. I continued to grow my skills with a few Head Chef roles in the interim years but I’d had the idea of a pop-up restaurant in mind since the Navy. I wanted to showcase my own work, getting the praise myself rather than my bosses.”
Setting up ‘Savages Mussels’ in early 2018 – his multi-faceted owner role being to combine designing menus, ordering, cooking, serving customers and financial management – hasn’t been without it’s challenges. Jamie admits he is learning every day.
“Being a pop-up format, operating from markets and outdoor sites, my biggest challenge so far has been the provision of electric and gas. Power going during service, gas on the fryer running out, not noting customer’s location, forgetting to order change from the bank; these things can make the difference between a good and bad day.”
X-Forces Enterprise helped Jamie with financial planning and initial set-up funding for the business, via the Start Up Loans Company, enabling him to leave his job with a private jet dining operation.
“Although I was mostly set up for my pop-up events the opportunity arose to take on a permanent stall at Altrincham Market and Macclesfield’s Treacle Market. It was a risk to leave my job and go for it. This is where X-Forces has really helped me. I can pay my stall fees and buy my produce without having to worry about cashflow. Being part of the XFE network has also helped to raise awareness of the brand, and attain further pop-up event opportunities.”
‘Savages Mussels’ can be found at Altrincham Market every Saturday and Sunday, as well as pop-up locations around Macclesfield and Manchester.
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