After being named Best Small Business at the 2012 Swale Business Awards, Kent Science Park-based Café EcoVillage are looking to capitalise on their success in 2013 and have launched the catering side of their business – Cucumber Catering. Looking to quite literally drive their business forward, you’ll shortly see them zipping around Swale in the newly branded Cucumber-Mobile!
Managing Director Emily Brooke has already been providing catering services to businesses around Swale for over a year under the EcoVillage banner, but felt that businesses was growing to a point where it was time for it to develop its own identity.
Emily spoke about the launch of Cucumber Catering:
“EcoVillage has been running the Kent Science Park’s onsite café since 2009, and I think that we’ve created a warm and friendly environment when the 1,300 employees can come to unwind and enjoy freshly prepared food. Catering was always something that I wanted us to expand into, and after taking several repeat bookings from clients on the park, I decided to launch to the wider Swale area.
“So far the response has been extremely encouraging. Whilst the take up has been primarily business-to-business jobs, we’ve had a number of private bookings as well, including a wedding.”
Emily, 31, has been working in the food industry for over five years, after leaving a promising career in fashion to pursue her culinary interests. She was part of a small team of partners that formed EcoVillage, after having successfully run a café in Rodmersham and a Farm Shop in Bredgar. She is now the sole proprietor of both EcoVillage café and Cucumber Catering, and takes a ‘hands on’ approach to running her team. She commented:
“When you own a small business, you need to do a bit of everything. I’m lucky to have a very dedicated team working for me, but I’m still involved in the day-to-day operation of the café, as well as running Cucumber Catering and taking care of the business side of things.
“I think being named Best Small Business at the Swale Business Awards was a major string to our bow, as it felt like recognition for the hard work that myself and the team have been putting in. I’m also hoping that it helps to raise my profile amongst local businesses, so that they know that we’re here to provide them with fresh, locally-sourced food.”
James Speck, Site Director of Kent Science Park also commented:
“Emily has done a wonderful job at making our onsite café the hub of Kent Science Park, by creating a hospitable and welcoming environment. I’m sure that Cucumber Catering will be just as successful – in fact, it seems like she’s already beginning to see the positive results.”
As part of the launch of Cucumber Catering, Emily is offering a free taster lunch for businesses in Swale, followed by 50% off their first order. More information can be found by visiting cucumbercatering.co.uk or facebook.com/cucumbercatering or by calling 01795 477 934.