A CHEF with a passion for Caribbean food managed to conquer her anxiety and set up her own business.

Coral King has just renewed her contract at the Nine Elms pub after a successful six months serving up delicious dishes from her Tropical Kitchen.

The 55-year-old from Wroughton had never managed her own business before December 2018 but decided to take the plunge and has never looked back.

She said: "My anxiety stopped me from doing so many things I wanted to do - on some days, I could not leave the house - but I decided to gather up courage and go for it because I felt like it was now or never.

"It takes a lot of effort to run a business, I push myself every day to conquer my fears but I've met all sorts of lovely people, had a lot of great feedback and sold out on the first day of opening.

"I used to work in a nursing home kitchen as a chef and I've done a lot of work for other people but never ran my own business before. Last year, I was on Universal Credit and hated it but the job centre staff gave me the advice I needed to get this started."

Coral is the only chef in the kitchen and is assisted by a small team of staff who tally up takeaway and delivery orders while also serving pub customers.

She will provide the catering for hundreds of people at the Nine Elms' Elmstock festival on July 27.

Coral added: "The kitchen had been sitting empty for years so I asked the landlord if I could rent it. People used to tell me I should sell the food I make. He was reluctant at first due to a bad experience with another takeaway but I persuaded him and things are going really well.

"We are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but the weekends are always really busy. I think we are the first Caribbean place in Swindon to do a vegan meal, it's good value for money.

"My parents were from the Windrush generation, they came here in the 50s and I've brought up three children all on my own.

"I'm going to be here for at least another six months and hopefully, one day, I'll be able to set up my own Reggae cafe in town with music and a chilled vibe."