A BARISTA turned entrepreneur is celebrating starting her first business after graduating as a mature student.

Nicole Griffin started Chino Club UK after noticing a gap in the market for reusable babyccino cups.

The Colchester resident spent ten years working in hospitality, rising through the ranks from barista to café manager.

Now, she has jumped into her new business with both feet and taken it on as a full-time project.

Gazette: Chino Club UK sells reusable babyccino cupsChino Club UK sells reusable babyccino cups (Image: Chino Club UK)

She says starting the business has helped her overcome poor mental health after the loss of her daughter about six years ago.

“Going through such a hard time and having all that anxiety and then coming out of it and becoming stronger and working through it to the point I’ve been able to launch a business, it feels like it’s almost in her memory,” the 31-year-old said.

Nicole was inspired to start the business while working in a coffee shop.

She explained: “We sold babyccinos every day and my kids love them. I thought about how there were no reusable babyccino options for kids.

“I’m forever in cafes with my kids and we always order babyccinos in little takeaway cups but they’re so easily knocked over.

“I ended up reaching out to a company in Australia that makes them. A year on, we’ve just had our products land and we’ve made our first sales.”

The entrepreneur feels ready to jump into the world of business after graduating with a business management degree from the Open University last year.

“During my degree, I had two babies, I separated from their dad, and I just carried on pushing and pushing,” she said.

“I’m not really that academic, I didn’t love school and didn’t go to college. I thought that opportunity would never be there for me.”

Her business has made its first sales online and its products will soon be stocked by Colchester retailers like Go Bananas and Coffee Hog.

Nicole added: “I’m delighted. You dream of these things and I’ve been planning for it but all of a sudden the product is here and people are buying it.

“I want to show my kids that through adversity you can achieve great things.”

To find out more visit chinoclub.co.uk.