How it all started.They say behind every successful business there is a story, a personal journey.

I am not sure I agree with that, looking at the big large corporate world out there and the not so personal or caring way with which they seem to ‘rule’ over the people, but I do believe that behind every small business success story there is a personal journey.

And this is my one, but beyond one, this isn't just my journey, it is that of my wife and three children, the very reason I am here today doing what I love, following my passion and living the life I love living, a purposeful life.

I have worked all my life in the hospitality industry. Growing up in Cyprus, the island of tourism, it was an obvious field of work to go into and I was good at it because I love being with people. I have worked in hotels, restaurants and bars while at college doing my bachelor in restaurant and hotel management and then on, I worked running establishments and even owned a couple of my own. I moved to the UK in 2001 with my wife Michelle and this new step of change was a very real wake up call and far flung lifestyle from sunny beaches and iced coffees. It was the start of a 3 year struggle to settle in a foreign country, practice the language, find my feet and learn new skills, new cultures, new ways of doing things. My wife and I worked tirelessly, long 12-14 hour days for fast food takeaways and looking for a way to break into our own little patch.

Our own little patch came in 2005, in the form of Roses Tea Rooms. Thats right. Two Greek Cypriots (OK so my wife is half English but she is born and bred and raised in Cyprus), opening up a traditional English tea room. Money was desperately short so with a £10,000 bank loan and a lot of hard work between the two of us we turned a little shop in a back street, in a small village in Northern England into a quaint, vintage traditional English tea room with a (Greek) twist! Despite all the odds, all the negativity from well meaning locals about it deemed to fail because of location, size (it was teeny) etc, Roses opened it’s doors in July 2005 to a queue of waiting customers and until the day it closed them, it was turning away people. Against all our expectations Roses became quite the little institution in beautiful Wirral where it is still remembered fondly to this day. Within months of opening it won Tea Guild accreditation and went on to win several local, regional and national awards including a TV spot where my wife came in the top 10 national finalists at the Gary Rhodes ‘local food heroes awards!

So what happened? Well, family happened. We opened the tea rooms with our oldest child being just a 2 year old tot and over those seven years God gifted us two more blessings Vangelis and Areti. It was becoming increasingly obvious that our customers were getting the best of us and our children were getting the worn out, exhausted, grumpy worst of us on top of them basically spending more time away from us in the care of paid or state care givers than at home with their family. This was not living. Becoming parents was and is one of the most precious gifts ever, and time with your children can never be redeemed.
So September 2012 marked the beginning of a new start for the Constantinous. We sold the business, took our kids out of school, nursery, childminders and all the rest and begun homeschooling and having a slower, calmer way of life. In time I trained in what I love, COFFEE, honed my skills to become a trainer and thus my own boss and the rest as they say is history.
In the last three years we have travelled, seeked to live purposeful lives, following our vision, my wife is following her passion to change lives and widen horizons through alternative education programs, my work enables me to change lives through coffee (next blog post) and our children are loving life, learning while living and living while learning with us by their side and the world their classroom.