A Scottish former drug addict and dealer has beaten the habit of a lifetime to kick his addiction and become a successful catering businessman earning millions.
While many addicts can function alongside their habits, Ryan Longmuir of Cumbernauld, Scotland, was taking a cocktail of drugs daily as a release from normality. The 37-year-old’s drug habit began at the young age of 12 after he fell in with curious like-minded people, according to the BBC.
Yet Ryan overcame these hardships to become the founder of Regis Banqueting, a high-end catering business.
— Regis Banqueting Ltd (@RegisBanqueting) December 12, 2016
Talking to BBC Scotland, Ryan said:
From the age of 15 to 20 I took drugs every single day. I tried everything: Cocaine, Valium, ecstasy, speed, heroin…
I’d go on benders for two or three days at a time, and I’d take five or 10 ecstasy tablets in one night.
Dropping out of school at 16 to pursue his drug-taking regime, Ryan took to dealing. After four years, in an attempt to throw off the shackles of his criminal lifestyle, the then 20-year-old escaped to New Zealand.
Despite trying to eschew his addiction, two months into his trip, Ryan was arrested for attempting to smuggle 100 ecstasy pills into the country for his own use from Scotland.
When he was out on bail, Ryan met two women who took him under their wing, giving him a home and introducing him to the Church. Ryan cites their kindness and finding God as the ‘catalyst’ to his recovery.
After returning to Scotland, Ryan joined the evangelical Freedom City Church in Cumbernauld, met his wife and got married.
Although some may be cynical about his overnight transformation, Ryan said: “I know most people who have been taking drugs don’t have that experience. Most people do OK for a bit then they relapse. Everyone’s journey is different but that was mine.”
Despite little to no experience working with food service, Ryan stumbled upon the opportunity to start a catering business when his church required some help with their on-site cafe.
Thus, Regis Banqueting – a company that has provided a service for big name brands such as O2, Bentley and JP Morgan – was born.
Ryan said: “It’s amazing how we’re making more money than a doctor or lawyer – and we’re making sandwiches.”
With a £5,000 Prince’s Trust grant, Regis Banqueting has grown exponentially and now boasts a 65-strong staff, 20 of whom are full-time and the other 40 work part-time on a seasonal basis.
Ryan now helps rehabilitate former addicts by employing them in his company, which makes a profit of over £1.3 million a year.