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Partner Stories #3: Behind the scenes with Kitchen Party

From the fields of Worthy Farm to the Vale of Evesham, we're excited to take you along the Kitchen Party journey and give you a glimpse into their lives!

It all started when sisters Joss and Clem founded their own catering company, Kitchen Party, in 2015 in their 2 bed top floor flat in Brixton, and many events later, they now have a 1000 square foot unit in Deptford kitted out with a full kitchen and events space. They are one of our amazing catering partners, and we’re so happy to be sharing a bit of of their story with you.

We’ve chatted with Clem about their work at Glastonbury with Greenpeace, the family business at the Evesham orchard, and we also got some fun insight into what other pies (or cakes…) they’ve got their fingers in.

 

How will Kitchen Party be involved? We provide catering for the Greenpeace area of the Glastonbury festival - all of the build crew and staff who work for the Greenpeace cause before and during the festival, totalling around 9,000 meals!


We serve an exclusively vegan/vegetarian/no palm oil menu for all the staff. A sizeable cohort of the Greenpeace workers will be speaking to the general public, fighting the cause of vegetarianism/veganism as a means to make the world more sustainable.

Ultimately we want to be as sustainable as possible, this is why we work for Greenpeace each year at Glastonbury - it is an issue close to our hearts and always nice to spend three weeks outside in a field as a contrast to a railway arch kitchen during the busy summer months!

How many times have you been to Glastonbury? Has it always been with Kitchen Party?

We have been doing this every year since 2015 for our pal Skye but this is our first year running the whole lot. We take a good team of workers down with us, some Kitchen Party staff and some Glastonbury regulars! It's a good mix of hard work and fun, and has created some of my best memories with a great group of people. Towards the end of the festival everyone is super tired from work and play but everyone really pulls together to help each other out, it's a great thing to be a part of.

You mentioned you’ll be there for three weeks, could you share with us how those weeks will look in terms of setting up, prep, etc? Do you get to watch any of the acts? We have an early team go down two weeks before the festival (praying for sun!) to feed the build crew with more of our team arriving the week of the festival when the numbers go up to 350 people per meal per day - all the lentils!

We have been organising the logistics since January as everything needs to be meticulously planned very far in advance, from kitchen equipment hire, walk in freezers, food ordering onto the festival site to budgets, menu planning and rota’s!


We spend 6 weeks prepping in advance to get super organised and make the festival service much easier for everyone, so that people can have an easier shift when the festival starts. As we are feeding crew, no one works past 9pm and each shift is around 5 or 6 hours to allow lots of free time to watch the acts. All this alongside our weddings and events in London so will be a busy month!

 



Apple juice production is in the family.

We had the pleasure of receiving a couple of bottles at Christmas time last year, and we can say first hand that it is absolutely delicious. After discovering it is actually Clem & Joss’ family who made it, we wanted to find out more about how apple juice making ended up in the family…


How did the family business start?

35 years ago my dad and grandfather planted 50 apple trees on a part of their land. Then 6 years ago my dad decided to make the apples in to a juice (the orchard in the Vale of Evesham which is a good fruit growing area), he wanted to produce something that was organic.



What makes your apple juice so delicious? (We had a bottle at Christmas and absolutely loved it!)

The right balance between cookers and eaters. We have a mix of some unusual varieties and they all go into the juice. The soil that they are grown on is also very good quality and the orchard is very well sheltered!


Can we find this apple juice on offer at the events you cater?

Absolutely! We are very proud to serve it on our events. There are so many guests now that either don’t drink or are pregnant, kids etc and we feel it's important that they are looked after and have something a little different drink. The juice is served with a little sparkling water in the top and mint & pomegranate for garnish :)




Cake making is also in the family. We have seen some beautiful and unique cakes on the Kitchen Party Instagram, and wondered, how did cake making become a part of the business?

Joss (50% of Kitchen Party) started getting into cakes a few years ago as she loved the creative side of making them look colourful and fun. We’d ask clients what their favourite sweets and chocolates were and use this to base the decoration on.

Over lockdown, we were very busy making birthday cakes on a smaller scale to the wedding cakes. It was a great way for people to mark their birthdays / anniversaries etc without being able to have people over. Joss has also recently completed a professional wedding cake course.


Do you provide cakes for all occasions?

The cakes are very time consuming, so we now just do large scale wedding cakes, although she still makes birthday ones for fun! We have a lot of nieces and nephews who love the vibrancy of Joss’s cakes! - and the the mass amount of chocolates and haribo….


What kinds of cakes do you make?

All sorts, my favourite is the Guinness cake, although we do a mean carrot, red velvet, lemon and pistachio, chocolate and hazelnut and clementine & almond - some gluten free and vegan options too.


 

And last but not least, Brixton is where their story started and is a place that is also close to their hearts.

Photo credit: Josh Gooding Photography


How long have you been living in Brixton? Where is the Kitchen Party HQ nowadays?

I moved to Brixton in the summer of 2011 and have lived in the same flat for 8 years now! Myself and Joss started Kitchen Party in our 2 bed top floor flat, which we fitted out with a commercial fridge and oven. As we grew, it was time to move the kitchen else where which was a huge relief not to have a fridge at the end of my bed!! But every business has to start somewhere… We now have a 1000 square foot unit in Deptford kitted out with a full kitchen and events space and I feel very grateful!


Brixton very much feels like home so we love working at 100 Barrington - our ‘local’! So thrilled about the venue refurbishment and to be included on the supplier list. The space and team make working their such a lovely environment and it attracts the loveliest clientele!


 

We certainly loved hearing all about their plans & getting a glimpse into what they do when they're not working in our railway arch. From catering at festivals like Glastonbury (9000 meals!!) to their apple juice family business, we love what Kitchen Party are about and are so happy to be able to recommend them to our clients.


Do get in touch with them if you're looking for a caterer for your event:

https://kitchen-party.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/kitchenpartyevents/


-Barrington team xx


Photos: all photos taken by the Kitchen Party team, unless stated otherwise

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