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(From Western Daily Press)
After setting up a successful group of bars and eateries in Plymouth, entrepreneur Ben Shearn is now eyeing up business opportunities in Eastern Europe.
Ben, 33, has built up the Treasury Group from scratch, and is now looking to expand into either Slovenia or Bulgaria.
It's a far cry from his roots in South East Cornwall.
Ben grew up in Quethiock, near Liskeard, and attended St Boniface's RC College in Plymouth.
Growing up in Thatcher's Britain, Ben became aware of the idea of wealth creation at an early age and decided that his route to money would be through self-employment.
However, he left school at 18 to join a fast-track management scheme at Sainsbury's, which saw him working at the firm's Newcastle store.
It was, he says, an invaluable experience, but one that convinced him to return to Plymouth and go it alone.
Ben said: "That gave me a lot of insight into being a perfectionist. However, it didn't enthuse me to stay with that job, so I came back to Plymouth to open a sandwich bar of the type that I'd seen in London. I wanted to work for myself and it was an easy way to get on to the business ladder.
"I grew up at the end of the Thatcher years with lots of press about the stock market and I wanted to go out and …