PASTA BAR: From disillusioned to opening his own business
NATE Crowd was feeling disillusioned with the hospitality industry.
The Hervey Bay chef had worked at different places across the region but never quite found what he was searching for.
"I myself felt let down by the industry," Mr Crowd said.
So, for a change of pace, he decided to open his own wholesale pasta business.
Then, with a bit of help from Sarina Russo's New Enterprise Incentive Scheme, he was able to open the Fraser Coast Artisan Pasta Bar eight weeks ago.
Since then, he hasn't looked back and has since employed five people.
Mr Crowd had been in hospitality for about 20 years after completing an apprenticeship on the Gold Coast.
"I came from not knowing I wanted to be a chef to getting thrown into the job just to get a job back when I was just 18," he said.
After about nine years on the Gold Coast he moved to Hervey Bay for a change of pace, working as a chef before creating the business that would supply pasta to a range of different restaurants around the city.
Given he was already making pasta, Mr Crowd decided he would open his own pasta bar, but he needed to know how to run it.
That was where Sarina Russo came in.
"They helped give me the basics to run the business," he said.
"They opened my mind up to what I had to do and how I could grow."
Mr Crowd has found he has had to be flexible.
"The business plan I had before I opened has completely changed," he said.
As well as operating his own business, the pasta bar has given five others the chance to get a job.
His chef had found it difficult to find work, having had a run of bad luck with the closure of several businesses he had worked for, including Hoolihans Irish Restaurant and Bar.
Today, Mr Crowd is still delivering pasta while serving up his own delicious meals in Pialba.
On the first night, the pasta bar served 110 people and while it isn't always that hectic, Mr Crowd said he was thankful for the support of people across the region.
"It does scare and amaze me at the same time how far this place has come," he said.