Spotlight: Phoenix Catering

December 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Features | Leave a comment
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catering

Despite being fairly new to Sheffield’s food scene, I’d been hearing only good things about Phoenix Catering, particularly that they placed a real emphasis on sourcing their ingredients locally. Not only do they source their meat and salad products from Yorkshire farms, but they home-grow all the basil that’s used in their buffets and their puddings are provided by Sheffield’s very own brownie company #brownies.

I caught up with Phoenix Catering owner Sarah Dudhill to find out more about this fast-growing Sheffield-based catering company and, of course, to talk about the importance of supporting local businesses.

Can you give us a quick intro to Phoenix Catering?

Sarah: Phoenix Catering prepare and deliver buffet catering in Sheffield, Rotherham and Chesterfield. We mainly focus on corporate catering for events, conferences and meetings. However we also provide catering for personal celebrations and events.

How did Phoenix Catering get started?

Sarah: Previously I worked for a large coffee shop chain, dealing with existing corporate customers and increasing sales. From speaking with these customers, I found the chain wasn’t meeting their needs and neither were other suppliers.

As the chain didn’t want to make changes to satisfy customers I decided to do this for myself. I only started Phoenix Catering a few months ago, in August 2012 and it has surprised me how many customers have welcomed my ideas.

What do you feel makes Phoenix Catering stand out from other catering companies?

Sarah: My customers tell me that what makes Phoenix Catering initially stand out is the great value for money and wide variety of options they cannot get with other suppliers.

Once the customers have eaten our catering they have said the quality really stands out – the use of freshly cooked joints of meat and homemade sauces, dips, nachos, savouries, etc – instead of other businesses who buy everything premade, pre-cooked, pre-sliced. In fact the only time we buy any prepared items is when we cannot produce better ourselves, for example the brownies we use.

On your website, you say that you currently source at least 40% of your produce from Sheffield and a further 40% from within Yorkshire. Why is it so important to you, to use local suppliers?

Sarah: For Phoenix Catering it is very important to use local suppliers for many reasons, including environmental and being able to visit suppliers, see where products are made and build better relationships with them.

Using local suppliers also helps to reduce food miles and in turn reduces the carbon footprint, making food transportation more environmentally friendly. However the main reason is to support local economy, something everyone should be doing whenever possible.

Every time we buy something made locally, it effectively creates local jobs and job security and improves the local economy. The staff of these local businesses are more likely to spend their money in local shops and businesses and therefore, money is being kept in the community. If we weren’t to buy local products we could effectively be taking away local jobs and businesses and in turn, money out of the community.

And finally, what are your plans for the future?

Sarah: Phoenix Catering will build on its success in 2013. We will continue to exceed our customers’ needs and expand our business to more of Sheffield’s businesses. Phoenix Catering will also be providing packed lunches for stewards and security, for large events and festivals next year.

You can find out more about Phoenix Catering at www.cateringsheffield.com/.com/

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