A deaf woman and her Michelin-trained chef partner have taken over running a popular vegan restaurant in Melton.
Becky Daykin (36) and 40-year-old Marcus Jefford have made major changes to the former Apteeki eaterie in Burton Street, with longer opening times, new menus and a range of innovative ideas.
It now trades under the name of Luck and Boo at Apteeki and follows on from them running a pop-up restaurant there on selected days over the last eight months.
Their residency proved so popular that they were invited to take over the business full time.
Becky said: “We both became vegans in January 2018 and it’s really exciting to have our own restaurant serving vegan food.
“We have made quite a few changes, like opening a little earlier at 9am and also opening the restaurant in the evenings for the first time, from 6pm until 11pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
“Marcus has been a chef for 25 years and his daytime menu ranges from banoffee toast and Mexican corn waffles to our homemade Melton Mowbray no piggin pie.”
Marcus has worked alongside some of Europe’s best chefs and at top Michelin-starred restaurants in London, Sydney, Paris and Edinburgh.
Becky, who is also known as Boo, formerly worked for a charity supporting disabled people and latterly has worked as an advocate to help those with a physical or mental disability.
As a woman who is deaf and needs to lip-read, she faces daily challenges, adding: “It is more of a confidence thing but I am being positive about my deafness.
“I have been working in the kitchen but I will be working front of house on Mondays and Tuesdays and customers have been very understanding.
“We hope to make things more accessible for different groups of people and we’re looking into hosting baby sign language mornings and deaf meet-ups.
“We also hope to make contact with local groups to find out how we can make things better in terms of access and be creative in our approach.”
Some of the other innovations at the restaurant include the ‘little boogers’ menu and facilities to make it accessible for young families plus takeaway food and drink with 10 per cent discount for customers who bring their own containers and cups.