CHESTERFIELD CHAMPION: ‘A town with lots of history – but a strong future’

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I am Vittorio Risorto and I am the owner of Calabria café and restaurant, on

Glumangate in the town centre.

I have lived in Chesterfield all my life after my parents moved here from Calabria in Italy before I was born.

I am married with three children and my wife is a headteacher at a local primary school.

I was a pupil at St Mary’s Catholic High School which my children now attend and I began my working life in the town in 1989, at what was then Midland Bank, after leaving school.

I left banking in 2010 when I opened Calabria and the restaurant now currently employs 12 people.

1. What’s your best memory of the town?

One of my favourite memories is coming regularly into town with my mum as a child. There used to be a stall outside the Market Hall that sold Matchbox cars and, if I was good, my mum would buy me one.

2. What development do you think will make the biggest difference to the town?

I am very excited about Peak Resort as I think that will make the biggest difference to lifting the footfall of the town.

Good footfall is vital for the retailers, bars, cafes and restaurants that are based here and those that are looking at investing here.

I always welcome news about new developments – whether they are housing, business or leisure as together they will add value to Chesterfield.

3. How would you describe Chesterfield to someone who has never visited?

My mum and dad moved from Calabria in Italy and settled in Chesterfield after a very brief stay in Ashton-under- Lyme. They managed to settle in such a lovely place.

Chesterfield is a lovely town with lots of history and, importantly, a strong future. It’s changing all the time, creating opportunity for the people here.

4. What are the positives of running a business here?

I enjoy having a business in the Chesterfield town centre and knowing the people around it.

It’s a real community which gives me ample opportunity to do what I like the most – talking to people, getting to know them and building relationships.

5. Who or what do you turn to in Chesterfield for business advice?

My accountant Andy Irvine at Shorts, is one the first people I turn to for business advice. However, I am blessed to have a number of friends in business who have been around the block, and I regularly chew things over with them.

6. Who do you admire in the community?

Being married to a teacher, I know how hard they work outside school hours. They are developing the future adults of the town alongside political, financial and community constraints. For me, these people deserve my admiration.

7. What are the aspirations for Chesterfield?

I want the town’s hospitality sector to be busier and that involves increasing footfall during the day and night.