Joint owners Anne Horner and Matthew Dugga-Jones run the Orange Bird, a neighbourhood restaurant in the heart of Hillsborough. Their food has a modern twist on South African cuisine. They cook their delicious food on a Braai and serve this with some amazing home-made cocktails.

We were inspired to start our business together as we had both always wanted to have our own restaurant. We make all the creative decisions and Matt has been able to showcase his food – inspired by growing up in South Africa. 

My favourite thing about running the Orange Bird is…

Being part of the local community. We have met so many lovely people – customers and other business owners in Hillsborough. Matt’s favourite part is being able to write the menu and seeing customers enjoying the food he and Sophie (our other chef) make.

The three words that best describe our business are… Neighbourhood, friendly, unique.

Sheffield City Region is a great place to start a business because…

Tthe local communities are so welcoming and appreciative of the people who make an effort.

In Hillsborough we also have great transport links which means we are connected to the rest of the city and of course having a major football team on the doorstep has been great for our business!

The best advice we ever got was…

Make a detailed business plan before opening. This really helped us know what we wanted to achieve and how best to achieve it.

The organisation that has supported us most is Sheffield City Council as they provided us with grants throughout the pandemic and I went to several workshops before we opened run by Business Sheffield. These were very useful.

Exposed magazine has also been a massive help, and This is Sheffield, as they have given us the opportunity to get our business out there.

The main challenges are many! The cost-of-living crisis means people have less disposable income to spend on meals out. Rising energy prices will affect us massively and VAT returning to 20 per cent will be a large hit.

Hospitality businesses, especially small independents rich investors, run on very small margins so all these things will make life very tricky.

In five years’ time…

I hope to still be trading in Hillsborough but with more staff. More chefs will allow us to open on more days and take on some exciting off-site catering opportunities for weddings and festivals.

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