A sweet solution for The Apprentice

From left to right: Business owner, Carina Lepore; Stuart Dantzic, managing director of Caribbean Blinds

Caribbean Blinds, an award-winning manufacturer of external shading systems, has just completed its sweetest project to date: providing Lord Sugar’s 2019 business partner, Carina Lepore, with awnings for her bakery business, Dough Artisan Bakehouse, in Beckenham, south-east London. The fabric Puerto Rico Pergola awnings are perfect for large terraces, claims Suffolk-based Caribbean Blinds, which answered Carina’s brief to install an all-weather, waterproof cover for the courtyard area at the back of the shop, replacing the piece of tarp that was being used as a temporary cover.

Carina required a flexible product that allowed guests the full benefit of the sun but also the ability to fully cover and protect the garden from rain at the push of a button. Stuart Dantzic, managing director of Caribbean Blinds, explained: “Carina was looking for a stylish, easy to use, permanent and waterproof solution to protect against the weather, to enable her to open the bakery’s ‘Secret Garden’ to her customers. She had seen our installations on social media and messaged us for advice and ideas. We soon struck up a rapport, sent her our ideas and got started. It has been a pleasure to work with her, and we are thrilled that one of our products is the reason she can keep an outdoor dining area open all year round.”

Carina added: “When we chose the Beckenham location, we always planned to improve the garden area for outdoor dining and hospitality, as we knew it would bring added value to the business. The pandemic restrictions definitely gave me that push I needed to get this done, and made me far more focused about finding the perfect, all year-round outdoor covering.

“When I saw the quality of the Caribbean Blinds products and started to deal with them as a business, I realised that I didn’t need to look any further because they had everything I needed. The team was really professional, could answer all my questions and convinced me that I should go ahead with the installation and the value it would bring to my business. They weren’t wrong!

“The install was really quick and easy, it only took two days from start to finish. The awning design is stylish, modern and so easy to operate. We’re really happy with it and we now have the most amazing space for our customers to enjoy our coffee, cakes and bakes while adhering to the strict social distancing guidelines.”

Full sun, partial shade or complete shelter, the Puerto Rico Pergola awning offers complete flexibility and freedom over outdoor space, the business claims. Its slimline pergola framework features a sliding fabric roof that can be adjusted to any position. When fully extended, the integrated guttering built within the lead rail ensures effective water drainage from the fabric into and out of the post uprights.

Since it was founded in 1987, Caribbean Blinds has been exclusively designing, manufacturing and supplying ‘the finest external shading products that transform the use, functionality and enjoyment of all types of spaces’. For more information, visit www.cbsolarshading.co.uk.