A CHEF who has spent the past 15 years running the kitchens at some of the region’s best-known hotels has traded in that career in favour of starting his own business.

Paul Nowlin, from Darlington, was head chef at the King’s Head and Blackwell Grange hotels in Darlington, as well as Middleton Hall Hotel, near Richmond.

The 36-year-old has now taken the opportunity to run a cafe business in the Homecare Heating Supplies store, in Valley Road North.

He is being helped out by partner Louise Appleby and their nine-year-old daughter Eve also lent a hand during half-term last week.

Mr Nowlin said: “The cafe in Homecare is a new opportunity for me, so I thought I would give it a go.

“It is very different to what I’m used to – the food side is the same, but as it is my own business, I’ve got to think differently.

“There’s no regular pay cheque coming in at the end of every month, so it is up to me.

“I’ve always wanted my own business, either a little pub or a restaurant.

“I was in Homecare looking for a cooker and saw the cafe opportunity.”