Restaurant Business of the Year 2014

The Yorkshire Meatball Company

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Start-up name: The Yorkshire Meatball Company
Founder: David and Gareth Atkinson
Started in: 2014
Based in: Harrogate, Yorkshire
Business description: Specialist meatball restaurant

YMCO_master-logo_roundPutting the taste back into meatballs, Harrogate’s fast-rising restaurant The Yorkshire Meatball Company is cooking with gas after winning the inaugural Restaurant of the Year title at the Startups Awards.

And co-founder and managing director David Atkinson was there to accept the title at the Kensington Roof Gardens from Paul Lindley, the founder of children’s food business Ella’s Kitchen and himself a winner of the Micro Business of the Year award in 2006.

The Yorkshire Meatball Company is a restaurant that within four weeks of opening its doors was nominated for – and won – a local tourism award! And if you’re thinking meatballs seems an odd or one-dimensional dish to theme your restaurant around, think again.

With hot chilli balls, paprika balls, chickpea balls, haddock balls, and its original balls, there’s no doubting the versatility of the meatball concept. Served on a ‘bed’ of mash, vegetables, pasta or salad, and covered in a ‘blanket’ of sauce or dressing, the restaurant’s balls, along with its customers, are given a lot of love.

It even extends to desserts with iced chocolate, cheesecake and profiter balls accompanied by icy balls (ice-cream). Atkinson impressed the judges with purposeful nods to Yorkshire’s culinary heritage, with a dedication to locally sourced ingredients and the beers, drinks and ciders on offer.

Such attention to detail also saw the restaurant make it as a finalist in Yorkshire’s Finest Taste awards. Its early success has led to a very fine set of financials, which the Startups Awards judges felt would only go in one direction.

So, despite incredible competition in the deliciously hard-fought category – with Northern Ireland’s Sugar Supper Club and the Isle of Anglesey’s Sosban & the Old Butchers also in the running – The Yorkshire Meatball Company made one tasty winner!

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