Jasper’s Chester has been opened by chef Simon Hadley, who has worked in several highly-decorated establishments. Simon began his career as an apprentice at the Dorchester Hotel, before working as a Chef de Partie for Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. He has also worked at the three-Michelin-starred Le Crocodile in Strasbourg; as sous chef at Hambleton Hall; and his last role was in food development for Kerry Foods.
Asked why he had decided to take his hospitality career in a different direction, Simon said: “I am at the stage of my life now where I want to work for myself. I didn’t want to open a restaurant as it is extremely difficult to make a success of one and in this climate, starting your own business without any support is particularly challenging.
“Jasper’s has diversity in its food and drink offer and I will be able to put my own stamp on products and menus. As soon as I met the Jasper’s franchisors I knew I had found the right business for me. I like their philosophy and their approach to their customers and their franchisees.”
The Brighton franchise operation has been opened by Dutch-born Maarten van der Velde, who spent 15 years managing luxury chalets and hotels in the Alps. He has also worked as food and beverage director for Michael Caines’s Abode Hotel in Chester and for Conrad Hotels in London and Brussels.
Maarten commented: “Having spent my whole career in hospitality, I knew I wanted to set up a business in this industry, but with support from a franchisor. While researching online, Jasper’s really appealed to me - I like the ethos of the business and the approach to customer service. I have spent more than 20 years working at excelling in customer service and I am very passionate about it. I am looking forward to running my business, in my town, and making a real success of it.”