A RESTAURATEUR whose business was threatened with closure due to Covid has been propelled into the limelight after the success of a TV series.

Bing Cao, who owns restaurant Wabi Sabi in Ambleside, has seen sales sore after featuring in hit Channel 4 documentary series a Lake District Farmshop, which follows the team behind Tebay Service Station.

The large amount of media coverage has propelled Tebay’s Cumbrian suppliers and team members into the national – and international – spotlight.

Mr Cao, who entranced viewers with his quest to supply Tebay Services and save his restaurant in the process, has been contacted by a Taiwanese television producer and asked if he’s ever considered becoming a TV chef.

“Last year my business was on the edge of collapse,” he said.

Like so many restaurateurs, he lost his income overnight when the UK went into its first lockdown in March 2020.

Now sales of his sushi boxes, ramen noodle kits and ready-to-eat gyoza dumplings have increased so quickly at Tebay Services and its sister business Rheged, near Penrith, that he has taken on new staff and invested in new equipment.

“Almost everyone who comes into our restaurant and shop has seen the programme,” said Mr Cao.

“People are sending us photos of the ramen bowls they’re making at home using our kits.

"We are so happy that Tebay’s order is continuously rising and that we can survive and grow.”