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John Collingwood ready to shake up training industry

Dec. 14, 2009 by John Collingwood

Dec 14 2009 by Chris Knox, The Journal

A YOUNG cocktail whiz has shaken up his career by launching his own training business after being made redundant from drinks firm Bacardi.

Newcastle-based John Collingwood set up Want To Impress earlier this year after benefiting from six years of experience with Bacardi as a trainer for bar tenders looking to add a splash of style and sophistication to their establishments.

Now up and running, his new business holds training courses at bars in Newcastle city centre, with prices starting from £29 per person for a one and a half hour masterclass, where budding Tom Cruises get the chance to mix up six cocktails – with all spirits and mixers included in the price.

While giving customers the ammunition to mix up an amorous evening in, the business, which can be found at website , also provides skills training to professional bartenders and delivers mobile cocktail services for events and private parties.

John Collingwood said: “Redundancy can be a traumatic experience that undermines people’s confidence and ability to get back into work, let alone start their own business. Despite the initial shock, being made redundant was actually one of the best things that ever happened to me and it has allowed me to start my dream business and really take control of my life.”

He received help in setting up from Business Link, which included forming a business plan.

He said: “Even though times are tough I’m really pleased with how Want To Impress is developing.

“There is a huge demand for quality homemade cocktails, especially with people wanting to cut back and party at home while still enjoying a classy evening. Showing off your Tom Cruise cocktail skills is also a fantastic way to impress that special someone.”