When it comes to leisure, a team of go- getting entrepreneurs are covering all bases and smashing their exciting business goals right here in Leicester.
When Kavita Patel, her husband Jay and brother Mehul, opened ‘What A Goal’ back in 2021, their aim was to create a unique, ‘one of a kind’ leisure hub which catered for all.
It would be a place which brought people together – a place where families could enjoy each others company, and a range of leisure pursuits all under one roof, regardless of age, race or gender…
Today, the centre, which sits in Lewisher Road, is the first of its kind in the UK. It boasts a variety of leisure facilities, including two 3G football pitches, indoor cricket, and an ambient state- of-the- art gym. Then there’s ‘Rascal’s Ranch’, a colourful soft play centre which is extremely popular.
Last but not least, is ‘What A Shot’ – the facility’s stunning sports bar and restaurant which opened last summer. It features an exquisite bar and an exclusive Director’s Lounge, which is available to hire. The venues’ sumptuous lounge area, which overlooks the football and cricket pitches, is also a popular feature where customers can kick back and enjoy sports on a huge 6x3m LED TV.
As well as serving a range of beverages (including popular cocktails), ‘What A Shot’ also serves high quality Indian fusion dishes, and a tasteful, super polished aesthetic, which just begs to be photographed.
“I had a strong vision of what I wanted it to look like. I wanted something high-end – something that would look nice in photos and that people would be proud to come to,” said Kavita, 35.
“We wanted to create an upmarket venue in the local area – somewhere nice where people could go without having to go to town.”
“People come in and say, ‘we feel like we’re in London’, just because of the set up and the way the bar is,” added Mehul. “In the evening there’s a real buzz about the place, especially when there’s a football match or a DJ on…”
In order to bring their vision to life, the team ploughed their passion, and life savings into the luxurious venue.
“Although we went over budget, it was important not to compromise on quality,” said Jay, 40.
“We’re all passionate about not cutting corners and doing everything to the best of our ability.
“We spent a lot of time hand-picking our chefs from around the world, and every decision has been made carefully.
“We all said if we’re going to do it – especially something as big as this, we’re going to do
it properly. There’s no point going into it halfheartedly. ”
Luckily, the team’s investment is paying off, and ‘What A Goal’ is going from strength to strength. They are already seeing a ‘great return’ and have even won awards for their entrepreneurial efforts.
In September the venue won ‘Best New Restaurant’ at the Leicestershire Curry Awards and last year, they were named ‘Business Start up of the Year’ by Nachural. They were also given the ‘Community Excellence Award’.
Together, Kavita, Jay and Mehul have used their individual skills to run ‘What A Goal’, and make it into the growing success it is today. They are ambitious and keen to look into the possibility of franchising in the next five years they told Pukaar.
“I suppose you could call us a bit of a dream team!” said Kavita, who oversees ‘Rascal’s Ranch’ and all the running of the business.
“We’ve all got our own departments, and we’re good at what we do, so we all push our own areas, but at the same time we’re all pulling in the same direction.”
“Because we’re on the same page, no one treads on anyone’s toes,” added Jay, who runs ‘All Star Fitness’ – a gym which currently boasts over 1,000 members.
“We’re all very driven people. It’s hard work, long hours and we’ve all got young children, so that makes it even more difficult, but it’s worth it when you see your vision beginning to come together.”
The idea for ‘What A Goal’ was born during the Covid-19 pandemic, when people were forced to stay inside. As people dreamed of the day when they’d be able to go out, socialise and enjoy leisure activities again, Kavita, Jay and Mehul began to draft ideas for an ambitious new venture. They bounced ideas around, and finally committed to making them a reality once restrictions lifted.
However, they were met with initial scepticism when they revealed their plans to family and friends.
“Many people were asking ‘are you sure?’ Although we’d helped out with our family’s food business, none of us had really done anything like this before,” said Mehul, who helped with a lot of the construction work at ‘What A Goal.’
“We were laughed at by so many people – even family members doubted that we could achieve what we had in mind,” added Kavita.
“We approached so many sports clubs and people to say ‘come and work with us’ and at that time they didn’t want to know. Now everyone’s fighting for slots, and I just haven’t got them…”
It’s clear that Kavita, Jay and Mehul are passionate about ‘What A Goal’ and providing a vibrant leisure service in the community.
“That was definitely the main goal for this complex – to bring everyone together and to have something for everyone. During the holidays and on the weekends, you can actually see it come into play and that makes us really proud,” said Jay.
“Now we’re becoming more established, we find that people are actually arranging their weekends around the whole complex, so that the whole family can actually spend a day, or half a day here. There’s something for everyone, and that’s what we set out to achieve.
“It’s hard work, and there’s still a long way to go, but when we see families together, smiling and enjoying what we’ve created, it really is the best feeling. That’s what makes it worthwhile.”
Visit: www.whatagoal.co.uk for bookings and enquiries.