People’s Champion Finalist: The Yorkshire Meatball Company
Meet the UK’s one and only specialist meatball restaurant – and cast your vote for Startups Awards People's Champion!
Start-up name: The Yorkshire Meatball Company
Founder: David and Gareth Atkinson
Started in: 2014
Based in: Harrogate, Yorkshire
Business description: Specialist meatball restaurant
A restaurant which is nominated for a local tourism award just four weeks after opening is surely doing something right – and despite having only been trading for a few months, all the signs point to The Yorkshire Meatball Company (YMCO) making a serious impact in the restaurant business.
Claiming to be the UK’s one and only specialist meatball restaurant, The Yorkshire Meatball Company offers an entire menu based around the humble lump of meat, spices and herbs, with customers offered a mix-and-match combination of “Balls”, “Beds” (sides), and “Blankets” (sauces). Prices are targeted at the casual and business diner crowd, with the average patron provided a single-course lunch and drink for £10.
It’s not just the unique meatball-focused approach that sets this restaurant apart – founder Atkinson has drawn on Yorkshire’s rich culinary heritage to offer a genuinely local selection to patrons. Every item on the menu has been locally sourced, and this even extends to the drinks on offer, with all the beers, lagers and ciders coming from Yorkshire-based breweries.
It’s difficult enough to start up any kind of restaurant in the UK’s notoriously congested culinary sector, but doubly so for one that offers such a unique approach to food. However, The Yorkshire Meatball Company has hit the ground running. After winning at the Harrogate Hospitality and Tourism Awards, it has since been shortlisted for three other industry accolades, including Best Use of Local Produce in the 2014 Taste Awards and the restaurant category of the prestigious Hilden Style awards.
Founder David Atkinson has lofty ambitions for the business, as he explained to Startups.co.uk: “The business will make money through developing a chain of meatball restaurants (including franchising), and through the launch of a range of branded meatball and related food products in the retail market.”
Why The Yorkshire Meatball Company made our 50:
A genuine champion of local produce and a commitment to raising the profile of the criminally under-appreciated meatball is enough to have already caught the eye of industry heavyweights just months after launch – The Yorkshire Meatball Company clearly has massive potential.