27-year-old Kayleigh Taylor, from Wallsend, turned her dream of running a business into a reality with help from The Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme.
“When I was in school, The Prince’s Trust came in to do a talk and I vividly remember switching off. I thought there is no point in me listening to this, because I’ll never own my own business. I remind myself of that every time I give talks about my successful food business now, and it makes me so proud!”
Kayleigh Taylor, 27, from Wallsend, left home during her final year of school and moved around a lot, living at friends’ homes and in supported housing.
“ADHD is one of the biggest struggles I’ve faced. I was academically intelligent at school, but everyone thought I had behavioural issues because I couldn’t focus on lessons like others could. It wasn’t until I left school that I was diagnosed with ADHD – as a child, I was just told I was naughty. “I’ve had some amazing jobs since I left school, but I found it hard to stay at any of them for long. That’s when I decided I should start my own business.
“I’ve only been cooking for the past four years, but quickly found out that I had a talent for it. I use food to show my love to my partner, friends and family, and it became like therapy for me after a long day at work.”
Kayleigh set up Klee’s Kitchen in 2020, a healthy meal prep delivery service which takes away the hassle of cooking, food shopping and washing up for people with busy lives. She got to a point where wanted to leave her job and concentrate on the business full-time, so she turned to The Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise program for support.
“Because of my ADHD, I’m not always good at planning ahead, so I needed the course to give me some structure. My Prince’s Trust business mentor, Brian, helped me massively with tax, registering my business, and accounting. It was massive to me to have people believe in me. I’d never done anything like this before, and in the past people hadn’t been taking me seriously and didn’t think I could make a proper business from my meal prep.”
Now, Kayleigh has moved Klee’s Kitchen into a permanent premise in Gateshead and employs four delivery drivers, two full-time apprentices and one full-time member of staff. Klee’s kitchen has launched a Sunday Lunch service, and Kayleigh is also currently looking at opening a takeaway that serves Afro-Caribbean soul food.
“My ADHD makes it hard for me to stay focused on one thing, so I always have two or three things on the go at the same time.
Kayleigh also volunteers her time to the Prince’s Trust Enterprise courses as a speaker. “I completely love giving the motivational speeches on the courses. Self-employment isn’t for the faint hearted, but it’ll help you become more organised and grow as a person.