A DUO who took the plunge and decided to set up their own business are enjoying self-employment.

After facing redundancy at the same time Sarah Wareham and Darren Ingram followed their passion and launched Woodies Diner which is located just off Blackwood High Street.

The former music teacher and banker say that business is "flourishing" and they are enjoying running their own business.

Ms Wareham said: “I had always wanted to run an eating place, and we were delighted when this place became available.

“Woodies offers a varied menu of fresh, homemade meals for adults and children, sandwiches, milk shakes and smoothies, and, of course, coffee.

"We also offer a free delivery system operates to customers in Blackwood, and the plan is to extend this in the future.”

The duo have plans for the future and have already introduced complimentary WiFi for customers and a swipe card system which allows customers to accumulate loyalty points.

Mr Ingram said: “We are passionate about the business and we hope that will stand us in good stead for the future. "When we took over we managed to retain the two existing staff who previously worked at the premises and we are hoping to employ more staff as we continue to grow.”

The business received a £500 Business Start Up for essential equipment and signage.

The Business Start Up grant is administered jointly by Caerphilly County Borough Council and Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise.

Glyn Thomas, manager in Wales for UK Steel Enterprise, said: ”Woodies not only adds to the range of eating places in the town, but is also planning to take on more staff and create jobs, which is always good news. We wish them all the very best.”

Cabinet member responsible for Regeneration Cllr. Sean Morgan said: “Our partnership with UK Steel Enterprise allows us to provide the much needed financial support for those starting out in business, coupled with the support and advice from the council’s dedicated Business Enterprise Support Team we hope to set businesses on the right path to grow and flourish."