You are currently not logged in. Please log in here.

Alumna of the month - March 2010

Veleta Hayles
Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies, 1989

Veleta Hayles

Veleta’s time at London South Bank University (LSBU) gave her the inspiration to succeed in managing her own catering company.  Our Alumna of the Month takes us on her journey to the establishment of TasteMyFood Ltd with plenty of tips and links for those wishing to start a business.

Veleta’s company has progressed from strength to strength, gaining the prestigious EXOR Management Accreditation and a 3 STAR RATING from one local authority. EXOR is a procurement and compliance service that ensures businesses are complaint to allow the public to make informed choices. TasteMyFood Ltd provides a range of branded ethnic sandwiches that are retailed to several shops within London.

Her studies at LSBU are the roots to Veleta’s success. It allowed her to value her staffing team who work hard to maintain assurance and quality standards. She works alongside a range of business partners who are able to give new insights into various aspects of her business. Her course has given her the ability to deal with challenges and undertake complex business decisions.  This has given her the confidence to focus on marketing strategies, customer care and financial management, the qualities needed to succeed in business.

Veleta studied at LSBU in 1989 doing the Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies. Like many of the students on campus she was supported while studying part time and working full time. She had a young family, which required her to focus and sacrifice to study and work. Her job in child care required high levels of management skills to enable her to perform her job well.

Her Post Graduate studies were a source of inspiration to advance her career.

Veleta states of her time at LSBU:

I recall how enjoyable, stimulating and self rewarding the teaching was at South Bank. I was always eager to attend my lectures. I recall working on various projects, team management, and management accounts. These modules have inspired me over the years to progress into several areas of management within the private sectors (e.g. Child Care).

After LSBU, she went on to study for another Diploma in Management. Veleta was able to utilize the individual skills she gained to undertake complex projects within a team. She went on to study for a BA in Health & Social Care with The Open University. This assisted her in her current secular part time job as a Specialist Social Worker.

TasteMyFood Ltd was started with a colleague of Veleta’s in 2008. She was initially excited by the idea, but knew the hard work was just about to begin. Research is the most important first step to take in establishing a business and Veleta became a member of the British library.She researched the trends and history of the catering and food industry once becoming a member.

Veleta visited a Business Start-up day in Islington and met several new business owners.  The event gave her ideas about premises, dealing with the Inland Revenue and web hosting.  Following the event she made enquires through Southwark council and was assigned to a Business Advisor with South Business Link. The sessions with her Advisor included: writing a business plan, seeking premises and sourcing finance.

Once a suitable premise was identified, she registered her business with Companies House and the Local Authority. Working in the food industry required Veleta to become acquainted with the current food regulations.

As a new business owner, she had a priority to keep costs and overheads at a minimum. Business Link became a good source to access information and advice into: employment laws, health and safety, insurance and the Inland Revenue.

Veleta sought approval from the local authority to retail her sandwiches and changed premises and recruited several staff throughout the start-up year.

Veleta states the following was of importance during her first year:

  • Constructive business plan
  • seeking business advice
  • registering with CompeteFor
  • procurement events
  • Sourcing information from the web
  • networking meetings and seminars

TasteMyFood Ltd distributes the following sandwich products:

  • Ethnic Range Sandwiches Halal
    Smoked Chicken Breast, Salt Beef, Halal Sliced Chicken Salami, Sliced, Turkey Pastrami, Turkey Salami & Beef Salami
  • Wide Ethnic Range with Healthy Option
    Mozzarella Jalapeno Pepperoni, Chinese Chicken, Cajun Chicken with Mediterranean Salad, Honey Chilli Chicken with salad, Jamaican Jerk Chicken with American Salad & Supreme Chicken Bacon Sweetcorn
  • Tortilla Wraps
    Chinese Chicken, Salad, Tai Chicken, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, BBQ Chicken & Tuna Sweetcorn