A TRAINED-chef from Hungary has taken a leap of faith and fulfilled a personal dream to run his own business in Cumbria.

Patrik Horvath, 30, took over the Nitro Coffee Penrith street stall in the Eden town earlier this yearm and the young entrepreneur has grand plans to expand into doing a wider offering including hot food and Hungarian delicacies. He also plans to be available for private hire events and parties.

Mr Horvath has put together a five-year business plan to make his new venture successful in the long haul and, despite becoming an entrepreneur in one of the toughest years for the UK economy in generations, he is confident of making the new venture a success.

He said: “It was a big decision to take it over, I had some savings but also had to take out a loan and put a business plan in place so I plan to be here in Penrith for a while.

“At the moment we are just doing coffee, other hot drinks, cold snacks, biscuits and cakes, but I am planning on starting to do hot food later this year.

“I trained as a chef in London and Stamford so I plan to do a bit more food-wise such as hot sandwiches and Hungarian-style Chimney Cakes called Kurtoskalacs.

“When I used to live in Stamford it was me and my then-partner’s dream to be our own bosses and run our own company. This is small, but it is a start.

“It has been really difficult as while it’s cold in January and February business is quiet and just as it was improving in March we had the lockdown. Then the county council closed the road for a week, so business is only just beginning to recover.

“Also it must have felt different for customers that all of a sudden there was a different guy, but a lot of people have introduced themselves and become regulars. There are more and more people all the time, as they realise I provide a just-as-friendly service.”

Operating out of a little Tuk Tuk van on Middlegate, by the junction with Corney Square and Brunswick Road and near the Tourist Information Centre and Penrith and Eden Museum, the sight of the little van with the scent of coffee beans billowing out of its machine is a common one for people in the market town.

The business has been based there for nearly four years, but Patrik bought out former owner and fellow Hungarian Denes, who moved with his family to Spain.

Patrik is settled in Penrith with a girlfriend, moving to the area in September 2018 after spending some time back in Hungary.

He came to the UK as he was interested in the language and culture, spending several years living in London and Stamford, Lincolnshire where he worked in the kitchen of The George, one of England’s great historic coaching inns.

He moved to the area to be a supervisor at Another Place hotel by Ullswater for about months before starting at Belle Italia at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest, where has been doing some evening shifts.

He added: “I still work there a bit to help; it has been really difficult as all I could claim for was barely half the minimum wage in lockdown.

“I get up at 6am, as it takes an hour to set-up and with evening work it is a long day.”

Currently the stall is open Monday to Friday, 7.30am to at least 3pm, and Saturdays 9am to 3pm. The offering includes Americano, Flat White, Latte, Mocha and Hot Chocolate among others. Find out more on the Nitro Coffee Penrith Facebook and Instagram pages.