So…this is a little new to us. We have never written a ‘blog’ before, so apologies if it appears a little amateur. For those of you who don’t know, we are Coggeshall Catering Company, also known as Adam and Sarah. Coggeshall Catering company was formed in 2017 after we had met whilst both working in the wedding industry, and conveniently at Marks Hall. It’s quite the romantic tale, though that’s a whole other story. We decided to rebrand Adam’s previous catering business, and work together. Thankfully, we make a brilliant team and what one of us lacks, the other offers, so we balance each other well. From 2017-2019, it was intwined with the ‘Halfway’. However, after the surprise of our third child, and some ill health within our families we realised we wanted more of a work/life balance, which the restaurant trade could not offer. From that moment Coggeshall Catering Company was reborn as a separate entity In May 2019.
One of the things we always wanted to support from the offset was the local community. We have children who attend the local schools, and we genuinely believe that Coggeshall is a lovely place to live and raise a family. Adam became an active member of FOSP (Friends of St Peters), which is the charity for St.Peters primary school. He regularly assisted the hot food stands on their fundraisers, and I think many would agree it was a lot easier having someone from the catering industry oversee this. Another charity we have been actively involved in is ‘the big park project’. This is something we hold very dear to our hearts, as an improved recreation area will be of such benefit to many people of the local and wider community. It has been a pleasure to have been part of this, especially the eco fair that took place in the summer. There was a constant queue for Adams BBQ, which was all done for completely not for profit. Of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic organisers, and the people buying the produce. It’s great the see the park has started its renovations.
It has been an interesting and challenging year. As with any business, although we had already created a good reputation, we had to work hard to ‘get our names out there’. Slowly, but surely, more and more people put their faith in us and supported us with our vision. 2020 was looking to be a good year for us both professionally and personally, but alas, covid has put a lot of that on hold. Predominantly, we are wedding, event, and corporate caterers. All the things which no one has been able to celebrate throughout most of the year. We have seen the heartache from many, many people, that putting their plans on hold has caused. We have done all we can to accommodate the changes and have been able to transfer the events booked for this year, to next year or beyond, at no extra cost.
It does just feel a little bit of wading into the unknown now though. We effectively started a new business in 2019, this means we are not entitled to government funding and therefore had no choice but to diversify what we offer and how we go about supplying it.
And so, roast deliveries became the first thing we offered which started on Mothers day in March. We had not realised how popular the roast deliveries would have been that day. It was definitely a learning curve, but we got through it and with great reviews. We continued doing the deliveries, and during the first lockdown, for some people, we were the only people they saw all week.
We became aware of some vulnerable people and were able to put them in contact with the Coggeshall helpers to ensure they had everything they needed. We also gave them some meals to ensure they had food available. We continued the deliveries, adding afternoon teas, platters, and bespoke private dining menus.
As the end of lockdown loomed, we started liaising with Michael at Stock Street. We had previously worked with Stock Street on many occasions and have a brilliant working and personal relationship with them. So much so, that going to Stock Street is like coming home for us now. Collectively, we wanted to offer the community some fun. Something that was relaxed, whilst still honouring the covid rules. And thus, we started working with Stock Street opening from Thursday-Sunday, along with a few other local caterers also.
The reputation quickly grew thanks to Michael being the ever-welcoming host, and Adams delicious food. The atmosphere in the barn was just electric. It sounds corny, but it had a real buzz, and was great fun to be a part of. We were constantly thinking of new themed nights from afternoon tea, steak, kebabs, queen, abba, brunch, roast baguettes, posh BBQ, and we had many more planned for December, but sadly, these have been put on hold for a while. Though as soon as we are allowed too, we will be back there, and we have some great things in the pipeline!
For now, we are back to doing our deliveries, and we have been so overwhelmed with the support from the local community. We really cannot thank everyone enough for continuing to order from us and for giving us such great reviews. It was partly because of the support, that when we heard that children were not going to receive funding for school meals in half term, that we felt we had to step in and help. Whilst it has been a challenging year for us, we have been fortunate to continue thanks to the support of others. We know for some; they have not been as fortunate. And so, the holiday school meals project was born. We had so many offers of help and donations. We were astounded by how many people wanted to help. We wanted to keep the deliveries to ourselves, to allow for greater confidentiality, but we did have the support of a few named people who live in Coggeshall and a few local businesses also. All of which made it possible for the children who we provided lunchboxes too to have such tasty yet healthy lunches. It wasn’t an easy task, as Adam was still at Stock Street at the time, Sarah also works as a mental health support worker and the children were off of school for half term. But we are used to timetables and being passing ships in the night, and we were determined to succeed at this, and we did, but it was only possible thanks to the kindness of the community.
We will continue doing deliveries for the foreseeable, even when we are back at Stock Street (we cannot wait!). Now these consist of Sunday roast on a Sunday, meat platters, cheese platters, afternoon tea, our new Christmas afternoon tea and bespoke private dining. However, we have now added steak night Thursdays, and Pizza nights Fridays. We are also planning on creating gifts, which people can purchase as Christmas presents as well as our gift vouchers, and Christmas hampers. We are fortunate that we have been able to continue, although it is very much a ‘new normal’ for us now. We will be continuously looking for other things we can supply, and we already have ideas for next year. I think that is one of the key thoughts at the moment, that we are constantly looking ahead and making plans, whilst adjusting the situation at this very moment.
Things will return to what we consider is ‘normal’, but for now we will continue doing what we are doing and helping the community as we can. We will also keep being forever grateful for everyone’s support and kindness. In these times, the kindness of others means even more.