Festivals to Food Court
Norman Mooney of Grate Catering and Events reflects: “This year would have been the real kickstart of Grate Catering. We had weddings booked and festivals planned. We were busy promoting our outdoor catering services and then it happened - lockdown. We gradually watched our weddings cancel as well as the festivals where we were going to be cooking.
“The worry was that the attention we had started to receive would be lost as we couldn’t operate with all of the restrictions in place. In the beginning I just felt completely deflated, however we wanted to get back into the kitchen and reconnect with people through our cooking.
“By now there were already lots of people offering home delivery services of a whole range of different types of food. We worried that whatever we offered would be lost in what was turning into a busy market.
“But we had a look through our fire pit festival menus to see if we could adapt anything for home delivery while sticking to our core values of using high welfare local meat all with a fiery twist. This is how we ended up doing our re-heat at home taco kits.
“We realised that we wouldn’t be able to do any large events this year and we really enjoyed working on our taco kits so we looked into vending at Outside-in Food Court in Portsmouth. Here we have our own kitchen and a regular crowd of people hungry for tasty street-food style cooking. Again, we’ve stuck to our core values of high welfare meat all cooked over live fire. We plan to stay here now and see where it will take us. We’ve also started work on a range of sauces, pickles and BBQ rubs that we use in our cooking which we also plan to sell retail.
“A positive throughout this whole crisis was all of the local small businesses coming together to support each other, buying each other’s products or mentioning each other on our own social channels. It’s been really nice to have this support and sense of community."
Read more inspirational stories about turning things round in lockdown. There's a link HERE to the first in this series- this one about how Boxxfresh was initially overwhelmed by orders.