Jane soon joined the business, which expanded with the opening of Westview Day Nursery 20 years ago. And it wasn’t long before another chapter in Arlene’s career began.
Wanting to allow her dedicated management team more scope to run the nurseries, she stepped back from the day-to-day operations and focused her energies on opening and running a restaurant, cafe and outside catering business. After 16 years of serving loyal diners at the Fat Fowl, the changing face of the high street led to another turning point.
“When we opened, there were two restaurants in Bradford-on-Avon, and by the time we closed nearly every second shop was a restaurant or cafe,” said Arlene. “At the same time, there had been three huge housing developments, with lots of young families moving into the town.”
So, after securing planning permission, Arlene invested £70,000 in converting the Grade-I listed restaurant premises into The Shambles Day Nursery, which opened in 2019. Now employing around 60 people, she realised they had outgrown the partnership business structure.