You may have had the pleasure of dining at Christians Café, tucked away in the hustle and bustle of Crimple Hall in Pannal, Harrogate, but who is Christian?
Christian Ogley is a 24 year old who once had a dream to own his own restaurant. Being in the right place at the right time and with a great group of supporters around him, Christian is now a successful entrepreneur, on his second venue and who has his own custom made ice cream truck.
Christian’s story began like many others. He was a student studying graphic design with dyslexia, but being a student at Harrogate College meant that Christian was given the support he needed to be able to complete his course and progress onto studying higher education at Kingston University.
As many students find when they leave university, there is rarely a set path to follow as there has been for the past 15 years of their lives in education, which is something a lot of people find very difficult. Many choose to go travelling and explore the world, some choose to find a job that will allow them to save up some money whilst deciding what career they really want to pursue, and Christian was much the same.
He left university, grabbed a bag and travelled around Europe nurturing his restaurant idea and upon his returned, discussed the idea of going back into cheffing, a job he’d enjoyed since he was young. It was then that his father mentioned the Crimple Hall café for sale which needed some TLC.
Christian worked fast and before he knew it, he could call the space his own and he opened Christian’s Café in 2012. Using graphic design skills that he’s learned at Harrogate College and during his time at university, Christian branded his business and it grew so quickly that he now has a purpose built bistro within the Crimple Hall setting that is enjoyed by all for afternoon tea, hearty lunches and also an extraordinary event space.
“I firmly believe in pursuing every avenue that interests you because the skills you pick up along the way can be transferred into every industry. I’ve worked extremely hard to get to where I am today and I learnt more than just graphic design at Harrogate College; I learnt how to work with people, a skill that in my industry is vital. Even though graphics isn’t a route I’ve specifically chosen to go down, I regularly use the skills I learned at Harrogate collage to brand and advertise my own business, meaning I’m able to control my brand and saving me time and money in the long run I suspect!”- Christian Ogley, Christian’s Café.
Christian’s Café was nominated for Best Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 Destination Harrogate Tourism and Hospitality Awards, a category sponsored by Harrogate College, so it was fantastic to have a former student in there.
With the business going from strength to strength under the creativity and enthusiasm of Christian, Christian’s Café now owns their own bright blue Ice Cream truck, that you will be sure to see out and about over summer.