'Everything is on the line if Rojano's goes down'

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 24th February 2020

When you think of Paul Ainsworth, you think of an emblem of success in the restaurant world.

 

He and his wife Emma are the proud owners of five businesses - his flagship, launched in 2005 , Paul Ainsworth at No 6; Rojano's in the Square, recently rebranded as Caffè Rojano by Paul Ainsworth; The Mariners public house in Rock; Padstow Townhouse and Mahe cookery school and chefs table - and Paul is a multiple-award winning chef, renowned in the industry for being a great cook, mentor and entrepreneur. 

Though the chef is thankful and proud to have multiple successful venues - tactfully all located on his doorstep so as to keep a firm grip on quality control - in an interview with The Staff Canteen, he stressed just how much he's put on the line to be in the position he's in today. 

"I haven't got a pension. I haven't got any pension schemes or anything like that - that there is my pension, that's my daughter's inheritance, that's everything." 

The principal reason for the Rojano's rebrand is that Paul and Emma have successfully exchanged and completed on the freehold - a luxury afforded to few. 

However, Paul said this had been a "huge" financial risk, for which they had borrowed a "significant amount of money." 

He said this was an enormously worrying decision.  

"When you sit in front of panel solicitors and they explain to you that: 'you understand what you're doing here, don't you?' And you do, and they understand the guarantees and charges that you have laid down." 

When asked what is at risk if it goes down, the chef said: "Everything." 

"On this, we borrowed £2.7 million. And every single business that we have is down as a guarantee. And our home. My family home." 

"I've said to Emma, 'we've just got to get our heads down and we've just got to make sure - of course we've going to make sure that we keep driving, we keep pushing it and we make sure that Rojano's is a success." 

"I haven't got a pension. I haven't got any pension schemes or anything like that - that there is my pension, that's my daughter's inheritance, that's everything." 

"Right now is a good time to borrow money but we've put everything on the line."

"You've got to have the structure and the capital for the bank to go: 'okay, we'll lend you that.' That's been made possible by The Mariners - because we've run it like a pub and it's great quality food, booze, but it's accessible the masses and everyone can enjoy it and the support from the local people has been incredible." 

"When you do that, do I want to be in London opening a restaurant? Do I want to go further afield? No, I don't, and that's because I wake up everyday thinking: 'd'you know what, you could lose it and you could get into trouble because it's happened to far greater chefs and businessman than me." 

"That keeps me hungry, that keeps me motivated."

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 24th February 2020

'Everything is on the line if Rojano's goes down'