28.04.2017 / by YoursTrulyCatering
We are catering another wonderful wedding tomorrow & whilst prepping today, It got me thinking on how far we have come in the last 5 years. I’ve decided to tell you about how we got where we are today.
For those of you who don’t know, my sister Renee & I run Yours Truly Catering & The One Pot Wonder together. We decided to start the company 5 years ago when looking for caterers in North Wales for our mother’s birthday. We could only seem to find buffet caterers, hog roasts or the full shebang 3-course catering. We struggled to find anything in between so decided to cater it ourselves and that was when our company was born. I quit my full time job & my sister went from a full time role in her work to a part time role just so she could keep some money flowing in whilst we started up. I couldn’t of imagined then how much we would experience. We have laughed hysterically, cried, been exhausted, birthed two children each, got married, made mistakes, learnt from mistakes & loved every darn second of what we have done – even the hard times, there were quite a few…
We started up doing food festivals. Not something we truly wanted to do but we knew it would help us keep money in the bank, food on our tables & would get our name out there. One of our first festivals, I will never forget. We rocked up to the quay side on the Friday night with a full cooler of food & a very basic marquee. Fast-forward 2 hours later & we had a full pan of food cooking & it started raining, well actually, pouring. The wind had become so strong that our marquee could no longer stand it & took off into the air (luckily we had people around us to quickly grab it & drag it back down) but we could no longer work so therefore, packed everything away & drove home. On the way home, a phone call to our mum went something like this…
“Mum, I think we’ve made a mistake. I don’t think we can do this.”
“You can do this girls, it’s just a small glitch, everything will get better.”
“This festival has cost us £1000, we have just lost an entire pan’s worth of food & our marquee is ruined. What’s the point in coming back tomorrow, it will be just as awful!”
“Go home, get some sleep & look at tomorrow as a new day & a fresh start.”
The next day, we went back & served almost 2000 people over 2 days.
Festivals were extremely hard work & I take my hat off to anyone who does this for a living. The days are mostly 16 hours long, you pray to god for no rain & you feel physically exhausted for days after. Next time you go to a festival and wonder why the caterers charge £6/£7 for a burger think of this – most festivals in North Wales cost anything from a non-refundable £600 to £2000 for the weekend. You have to take a complete estimate on the food numbers you will need risking lots of leftovers (wasted money). You work solidly for 16 hours, sometimes with absolutely no break, in the boiling hot or the freezing cold (we once worked in -14 temperatures outside) & you just hope that it decided not to rain that weekend as you might as write everything off you’ve just spent as you’ll be lucky to serve 100 people.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the festivals were absolutely wonderful & we met some fabulous people including lots of our future brides & grooms but lets just say, we were glad to say goodbye to that part of the business. I couldn’t tell you when we stopped festivals, it just happened one day when we realised we had too many bookings to do both. It’s exactly where we hoped to be.
Wedding/Event catering is our true passion. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of achievement when you come away from such an important day in peoples lives knowing you made such a difference. But let me tell you, it’s not as straight forward as you think.
Every event we go to is a challenge. We cater at all sorts of venues & very rarely get to see them beforehand so turn up not knowing what we will come up against. We once catered a fabulous festival wedding. We turned up & we had been situated on a steep hill. This caused quite a problem for our One Pot Wonder pan so a quick search round and we came back with bricks & pieces of wood (yes, it really was that steep) to keep the pan even. We had been very kindly provided a gazebo to cater from but we weren’t aware until we got there that it was a mesh style gazebo & once again, yes you can guess it, it poured down! Everything was pulled into the middle & we worked around it whilst waiting for the rain to pass. The wedding went without a hitch & it was an absolutely wonderful day.
Another time we catered a fabulous themed wedding and we were asked to dress as wenches in hessian sacks. We love a good themed day so had absolutely no hesitation in playing the part. It was the single hottest day of the summer & we were sweltering dressed in hessian cooking a hotpot. We have catered for every single dietary requirement you can ever imagine. We once provided an afternoon tea for a vegan who was gluten free & allergic to nuts! We have worked from the tiniest basic kitchens, served from the strangest places & seen the most weird and wonderful things. You see, I have always thrived on a challenge and nothing like this phases me. I’m a very “let’s sort this situation” type person. A much needed quality in this line of work. The days are still long but there’s something great about getting to work from home with your sister singing as loud as possible to the spice girls prepping food even though you have been working since 7am and know you’ll be lucky to finish for 11pm.
All of the difficulties however just disappear when you realise how much of an amazing day it has been. We have had THE most fun times. I can’t even count how many great things we have done. We have danced, laughed, been on bouncy castles, played games, had standing ovations, seen unusual wedding ceremonies, travelled to beautiful places & most of all, have met such amazing people. Every wedding we have catered has either told us or written to us to say how much we have helped them with their big day & to me, it’s the most important thing.
If we go away from a wedding or event knowing how much the couple and guests enjoyed it, I sleep very well at night with a smile on my face. We LOVE our job.
And on that note, goodnight x