Businessman earns enough money on a Sunday to close the rest of the week

A smart businessman has found a way to make enough money on Sunday so that he can close his shop for the rest of the week.

Chris Lewis, of the Rhondda in Wales – known as Curly because of his locks with corkscrew – has run the hugely popular Curlys dinners over the past 14 years.

The company claims to be the first Sunday delivery service in the Rhondda, and specializes in meat dishes served in a polystyrene tray.

Costs between £ 4.50 for children and £ 6.50 for adults, each serving has a choice of meat, vegetables, roast potatoes, stuffing, Yorkshire pudding and a pot of Curly's popular homemade gravy.

There is also a choice of homemade desserts such as jam roly-poly and custard or chocolate fudge cake and cream, which start at around £ 1.50.

Facebook reviews rate the dinners as 4.8 out of 5, with many reviewers describing the food as "beautiful", "fantastic", "good value for money" and "the best Sunday dinner I've ever tasted".

The company claims to be the first Sunday delivery service in the Rhondda

Despite the fact that the store is only open on a Sunday, the preparatory work starts on Friday for Chris and his team, getting ready for the upcoming weekend.

"We prepare for the whole week – on Friday we have our deliveries, on Saturday we prepare the food, Sunday we are empty all day," 43-year-old Chris, a former pub head chef, told Wales Online.

Starting at an eye-catching early 5am, Chris works constantly until around 4 pm on a Sunday.

He estimates that his team – which consists of about eight staff – prepares, cooks and sells between 350 and 380 roast dinners and a number of desserts every week.

This means that the company may earn approximately $ 28,000 a year by opening on Sundays.

"I can keep enough on Sunday to be closed for the rest of the week," Chris said.

"We are usually sold out every week.

"We try to keep the prices as low and as reasonable as possible, with sufficient food.

"I was brought up in the valleys, so I'm used to pretty, big signs."

The company specializes in takeaway meals on Sundays, which are served in a polystyrene tray

Chris describes his service as a & # 39; production line & # 39; and from preparing the vegetables to pouring the gravy and cooking the meat, everyone in his team has his own individual job.

"My team is great – we are like a well-oiled machine and they have been with me for a long time," Chris said.

"Everyone has their own individual job, someone is calling, someone is in charge, the girls stop the vegetables on the plates and I cook the meat."

After leaving school, Chris spent two years in a fish store before being trained as a chef in his local pub.

He spent more than 12 years cooking in the pub, and it was this experience that evoked the idea for his future business.

We would do Sunday dinners in the pub every week and many people would come in and ask if they could take away the dinners, & # 39; Chris said.

"Only about 10-15 people came in and ate, but a lot of people would take away dinners.

"I could see how popular it was, so when a store became available, I decided to go alone."

About 14 years ago Chris took the leap and opened his own company in the form of Curly's Dinners.

Originally opened as a cafe / diner, the location had a sitting area and a salad / breakfast bar, as well as the takeaway roast dinner on a Sunday.

Christmas dinners at Curlys are sold out every year and cost £ 12 for dinner and dessert

"We were open for about four years and then I had children and it was all too crowded," Chris said.

"We closed and I worked in a factory for a while."

But it was not long before Curlys was reopened.

"When we first reopened, we were still serving food throughout the week," he said.

"But after the local bank closed the doors, the number of visitors we had dropped to the cafe.

"So, we decided to keep it on a Sunday, make it a takeaway service and pour all our resources into it.

"We have hired more delivery drivers, worked more hours and left from there."

Curlys now produces hundreds of roast dinners every month and the company has established itself as a real player in the Valleys food scene, with queues out most of the week.

But there is a month that is really busy.

"Christmas is always very busy," Chris said.

"We are usually fully booked on 1 December and we already receive orders in September.

"We have had a hundred orders this year."

Christmas dinners at Curlys are sold out every year and cost just £ 12 for dinner and dessert. It is not difficult to see why.

Every festive dinner – prepared and picked up on Christmas Eve – consists of a choice of meat, potatoes (mashed, cooked or skinned), vegetables, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, gravy and of course pigs in blankets.

There is also a vegetarian option and a choice of desserts, including Christmas pies with cognac.

"Because our building is so small, we can only do a certain number of Christmas dinners, but they are sold out every year," Chris said.

"Winter can be quite difficult, especially when it is snowing.

Each serving has a choice of meat, vegetables, roast potatoes, stuffing, Yorkshire pudding and gravy

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"The snow here affects us pretty badly, especially when we can not drive to deliver and people can not come to pick up dinners.

"The last time I walked a few times on foot, especially to the elderly who trust us.

"When we get bad weather, we usually help a homeless charity and we send what we still have or we do not sell them."

Chris now has plans for the future to expand the business and eventually hopes to buy a bigger store, so there's more room to prepare dinner.

He also recently started with a "Meals on Wheels" service, with which roast dinners are delivered to customers on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

"The Meals on Wheels started about two weeks ago and we actually deliver the Sunday dinner to people on a Wednesday and a Thursday.

"It is the same as our Sunday service, except that the store itself is not open.

"It's pretty new and I'm still trying to build it up, but the Sundays are still our busiest day.

"I started it, so it would give me something to do all week or else I would get bored!"

Curlys Dinners is located on Ystrad Road in Pentre.

Visit their website or Facebook page for more information about the service.

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