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Story of how Chester businesswoman opened city's first ever cheese toastie café told in BBC documentary

Meltdown is proving a hugely popular independent business

Meltdown Chester

A Chester entrepreneur who opened the city’s first ever cheese toastie café has appeared on a BBC documentary about how she started her business.

Laura Lautrete wanted to combine her passion for cheese with starting up a new business that was unique and different – so she came up with the concept of Meltdown, an eatery specialising in grilled cheese sandwiches served in a variety of ways, using only locally-sourced products.

She officially opened the Handbridge cafe back in May and it’s been thriving ever since, but this week BBC documentary A Matter of Life and Debt explores how she came to do it, using all her savings as well as the support of The Start Up Loan Company who lent her £7,500 towards building costs.

Laura in the BBC documentary A Matter of Life and Debt

Their scheme offers entrepreneurs loans to help start their own businesses, and with their help, Laura was able to transform the premises from a former dog grooming parlour into the modern, unique shop it is today.

In the documentary, Laura explains: “Grilled cheese sandwiches was always the concept, because who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich? The whole point behind it is that it’s something everybody loves and it’s very easy for me to make. I just don’t trust people who don’t like cheese – how is it possible?

A Meltdown cheese toastie

“I thoroughly enjoyed the filming process, it feels like ages now,” she added. “Everything is going really well now, we’re constantly evolving and can’t stop adding things to the menu. We now have Mac ‘n’ Cheese and a raclette grill arriving soon to serve melted cheese on potatoes.

“But the best parts have 100% been the support from everyone, particularly the local Handbridge community and being part of the Chester Indies gang who all support each other. I’m really loving every minute of it.”

You can see Laura in A Matter of Life and Debt on BBC iPlayer now.

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