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Bear Story

Stuart A talented Chef driven to create the best life for his family and Dayna a Politics University Graduate with a deep community ethos, joined forces in 2017 and against all the odds to develop the successful Isle of Wight Restaurant  "Hungry Bear"

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The Full Story

Both Stuart and I had successful past life careers, mine in the pollical and community development world and Stuart as a renound Island Chef.

We Met in the Summer of 2016 when we both on a Career "break", as Stuarts father had passed away after a long illness and i was ready for a new adventure. We both took on Summer Jobs at a small local Hotel in Shanklin Called the Harrow Lodge and this is how our paths first crossed. 

 After a few months of courtship we were madly in love and knew we wanted to be together and have a future together,

We both had enough of working for other people and felt with Stuarts amazing cooking and my marketing and customer service skills we could create a food business. We only has a small amount of money and we went out and struck up deals with local people to buy equipment, stock and a van, with the idea of taking restaurant standard food to pop up events. It didn't take long for our front room and kitchen were taken over with bits for the start up, there was barley room to move. Then we were off our first event at the Manor house, it was freezing cold it was near Christmas, trade was sloe initially and then Stu sent me off with samples and the next thing customers were lining up and then we had sold out. It was first day success.

The next chapter began when we set up our restaurant at the old Lavender farm tea room, it still amazes me today how willing our customers were to travel down the long 3/4 mile dirt road in all weather conditions simply to enjoy our delicious food. The set up was simple, we started out there in December with no heating, just a smokey wood burner and no inside toilets, but things began to take off especially our Sunday Roast. 

Saying that the business was slowly growing but unfortauley like many start ups it wasn't producing enough income to maintain our the lifestyle we were living and we both sold are rather nice cars to put money into the business, things then got tougher and we realised we could no afford to continue living in our rented house. With limted options avaible to us friends lent us an old touring caraven ironically called "The Presige" wich had no facilities. It was summer and our friends towed the caraven to Thornes Bay Holiday park where we lived amost the holiday makers for eight weeks with our dog Cezar in toe.  Its fair to say we both has a phobia of the smell of BBQ which we were greeted by after returing from our 10 hour shift. 


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.


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