Lucy Morris is starting a trend. One for healthy, nutritious, accessible food in the form of her eatery in St Helier aptly called Nude. Serving stripped back, simple, delicious salads along with healthy curries, smoothies and raw chocolates. For Lucy opening the doors of Nude was the culmination of a dream, for not too long ago she was monitoring trends rather than setting them, as a highly successful Fund Administration Senior Manager. For me it was proof that there is life outside of finance and a shining example that with hard work, dedication and a dream anything is achievable. How exactly do you cast off a career in finance for something more fulfilling? How did Lucy get nude?
“I’ve always been interested in eating well and the affects food can have upon your body.” Having struggled to put on weight in her early adulthood Lucy experimented with different diets such as the Elimination Diet and the Blood Type Diet to discover that she suffered from Candida. Curing herself through eliminating yeast and sugar, Lucy became fascinated with the results of a good diet. “I became a big fan of fads!” she happily admits. What was an experiment turned into passion and Lucy decided it was time to change her life by enrolling in a 2 year City and Guilds Diploma in culinary Arts at night school.
With the tough decision to change career made, Lucy starting saving her salary and researching the market in Jersey and her competition. Seeking advice on starting a business in a busy sector, she was told to think carefully before leaving a successful and well paid career for what could turn out to be a pipe dream, but there was no putting Lucy off. “I would’ve have thought what if, if I never gave it a go.”
Lucy’s business model is astounding in that it will provide her with a salary that comes pretty close to what she earned in Funds if her targets are met. “It wasn’t about succeeding”, assures a confident Lucy, “it was about reaching for the sky.” Lucy was careful about her price point and to with the food she serves, the health side of it isn’t rammed down your throat, first and foremost is the taste. If a success, her cafe will also allow Lucy a more flexible lifestyle to spend quality time with her young family.
As if this isn’t aspiration enough Lucy managed the launch of her business whilst heavily pregnant and opened the doors of Nude with baby Maya four weeks old in her arms (am I the only one starting to hate her just a little now?) Aren’t you exhausted, I questioned? “Yes, but it’s a different kind of exhaustion. When you’re doing something you love and have a passion for, you are kept going by the adrenalin and rush of it all.” Despite raising a new baby and a three year old son Lucy claims she sleeps easy at night, contented with a hard days work and eager to start the next, rather than dreading a return to office life.
Lucy does her best to downplay the ease at which she has made this transition and the joy that comes from doing what she loves, knowing only too well my personal struggles with the finance sector. “My only wish is that I had had more confidence in myself to make this leap years ago."
So is there anything that Lucy has struggled with when starting her own business? Surprisingly a lot of the skill from her past job have been transferrable; handling finances, people management and what she didn’t know she invested time in learning. The hardest thing, she recalls, was establishing relationships with her suppliers, knowing what to order, how much and from whom - which can make or break a business in terms of profitability.
So what does the future hold for Lucy and Nude? “It’s limitless! I’m happy to go wherever the adventure takes me.” We talked about the possibility of franchises, opening more stores both in Jersey or abroad and educating people on healthy lifestyles and eating habits. Maybe the Nude Diet could be the next faddy diet to try, I joked? “Maybe”, she smirked, “this adventure is certainly one fad that’s here to stay!”
Visit Nude at 5 New Street, St Helier, Jersey
Check out their Facebook page here.