engage magazine issue 006/\'08 - Page 69

NEW START-UPS 69 Caribbean Catering Engage’s Colette Machado found out more about their business, which they set up just last February, what they felt were the highs and lows of running their catering company, and any challenges they faced in the setting-up phase of the business. Ideas into a Reality So, what inspired you all to start the business in the first instance and how did you turn your idea into reality? The three of us have been friends for years and it was our love for Caribbean food that inspired us to set up EMC. In Northampton there has never been an established Caribbean restaurant or take-away so we saw a gap in the market for quality Caribbean food and good customer service and just went for it. About 90% of our clients are European and many of them are repeat clients who pass on our details to others. Recommendation is key to our success. Yes, word of mouth is very very important to us! macaroni cheese and Sonia does the chicken, ackee and most of the European business lunches. Millie loves cooking. Her passion is seeing our client having a truly wonderful experience throughout their evening, Cecile takes very good care of EMC’s finances, and Sonia takes care of promoting and marketing EMC We like the idea of catering for an event and then leaving for another, however, over the last couple of months there seems to be a pull to having a restaurant! I see that there are three of you running the business. How does that work? Do you all share the same responsibility, do each of you specialise in a particular area? We are three equal partners. We all can prepare and deliver excellent dishes, however to have the continuity of taste, we have our own dishes which we cook. Millie tends to cook curried goat, rice and peas, all the soups and makes the drinks; Cecile tends to cook the fish, ribs, and “If you are passionate and good at what you do it doesn’t matter how old you are, nothing happens before it’s time. Bounce ideas off other people, remember customer satisfaction is key...” ISSUE SIX 2008 2007 engage ISSUE THREE engage | uk