Críoch Catering is a contract and event catering company operating around Wicklow and surrounding counties. As the name implies (old Irish for territory/ land), we champion food produce from the locale and are big on sustainability. We do this by supplying quality food and coffee to our clients combined with friendly service. Our clients are mostly in the public/ charity/ civic sectors but we also cater private events. The Wicklow County Council offices are our flagship contract. They’ve been very supportive of our philosophy and we love working with them. In my spare time I make films about food (A side hustle- I think the kids call it!).
Críoch– as the name implies (old Irish for territory/land) we champion food produce from the locale and we are big on sustainability.
Well, cooking great food! Our higher-profile events, in particular, are a creative outlet for both myself and our chef Dawn, they offer a chance to put our cooking experience to use and to experiment with new dishes whilst showcasing local produce. I also really enjoy making connections with progressive-minded people who are passionate about food. We have a really great team at the moment and I am eternally grateful for that!
Bad customer-care phone service. I’m always surprised at how bad these can be.
Críoch Catering supplies a number of public and charity sector clients during the week and we cater more for private events at the weekend, so it can be quite different from day-to-day. I wake up pretty early and bang about three teas or coffees into me and then it’s a mix of food prep, customer service, coffee making, dropping off deliveries, answering emails and trying to catch-up with admin in the early evening. I normally eat (or graze) on the move as I find eating a big meal in the daytime only makes me sleepy.
Eating out in the restaurants of people or chefs far more skilled than I am. I alternate between thinking ‘I could never do this’ and ‘ I could totally do this’. Watching T.V. shows and films about food and cooking- Chef’s Table, Anthony Bourdain, French Top Chef etc. I read/ listen to a lot of biographies and non-fiction, which I think all feed into the entrepreneurial mindset. That and evening courses- I think you should always be learning and growing as a person if you want your business to survive. If you sit still for too long you will get left behind very quickly!
I read/ listen to a lot of biographies and non-fiction, which I think all feed into the entrepreneurial mindset.
I’ve done mentorship programmes with the Local Enterprise Office and Skillnet Ireland but no funding. I started catering for friends from a shed with a gas camping hob and no oven (go figure!!). So, no. No funding – very much growing within our means. That said, I think a cash injection would propel us to the next level very quickly, so it is something I am considering.
Yes, Críoch will continue to grow and expand our influence on the East coast of Ireland. We have done some pretty high profile events and would love to do more of that – State banquets and the like. So the next time a U.S. president visits Ireland, I want us to do the food! Modest ambitions y’know!
I’ve always plenty of projects on the go!! I’ve just finished a documentary called the Future of Food in Ireland which premieres in December.
I’ve always plenty of projects on the go!! I’ve just finished a documentary called the Future of Food in Ireland which premieres soon, on the 1st December; this tackles all aspects of the food supply chain from farming to waste. I would really love to get this film shown across the country, as I genuinely believe the future of food is a conversation we all need to start having. There are some really top people featured in the film and it’s narrated by Wicklow based celebrity chef, Catherine Fulvio. I’m chuffed that she was willing to be a part of it! So be on the look-out for that in 2024!
Tadgh’s Tasteful Tips
- Technology is useful – payroll software, automated social media, online banking etc.
- Prep lists and to-do lists are a must. My calendar at home and our work diary are sacred. Make sure you write your appointments down straight away or they will get lost in the abyss!
- Delegating tasks is important, you can’t do it all yourself.
- Also, learning when to say no, I am slowly getting better at this. As we get busier, we pick the catering jobs that are worthwhile, but for the first two years I said yes to absolutely everything and nearly burnt myself out!
Making Online & Offline Connections
Yes, a little. But word-of-mouth and getting ‘out there’ has been more important. I really want to ‘up’ our online presence over the next year, so I’ll report back to you then. But networking has served me very well. It helps that I love getting out and chatting with other people who are passionate about food.
I actually find LinkedIn has been the most beneficial, strangely. However, I think that’s more a commentary on how bad my Facebook/ Insta/ X skills are and less about how good my LinkedIn skills are. I think it might be time to bring in a professional for the other platforms. As I say, you can’t do it all.
Watch the trailer for Future of Food in Ireland Film