Title illustration by Eilihd Muldoon – www.eilidhmuldoodles.com/
Appetite Direct delivered 1600 packaged meals for the Golden Ticket launch of the Borders Railway in September. How did a small business like Appetite Direct achieve such a successful result?
The brief involved producing two offers, a brunch offering for 600 guests and a lunch offer for 1000. Working with Stark Events who oversaw the whole BROC project we were asked to showcase the best of local produce from the three council areas through which the route passed. As the trains are local there was no facility for storing or heating food on board so both the brunch and the lunch had to be packaged as a ‘posh pack lunch’ which was to be handed to the guests before they got on the train.
We designed both the brunch and the lunch offer to be packaged in wholly re-usable recyclable or compostable containers and served with compostable disposables made from recycled or sustainable materials from Vegware. The lunch offer was served in a BROC branded biscuit tin with an illustration of our suppliers products on the back of the menu. The main challenge was finding suitable packaging to fit all the products and tick all the boxes for and eco friendly offer.
We did a lot of research into local and ethical suppliers along the route and we were delighted to have such a great response from the suppliers we contacted. It was quite challenging as for many of the suppliers this was the biggest order they had ever received. We had to balance the menu with the quantities of product that the suppliers could provide and in some cases this involved using smaller quantities in a dish that we had designed.
The delivery of the 1600 meals was a huge logistical challenge. We had 200 of each offer to deliver to the eight stations along the route and the deliveries were time critical as the trains were running to a tight schedule. Our office event managers worked extremely hard on a logistical plan that involved 4 refrigerated vans delivering and setting up at two stations each. The food offers were cold, production went on for several days before the event and packaging and packing was carried out over night.
We pitched for the contract back in January but it took several months to get confirmation that we had been successful. Planning started around 3 month before the event and in the month prior to the event I and a colleague worked pretty much full time on the event.
It was a great honour to be selected as the caterer for the BROC Golden Ticket event. It was a massive challenge for us as a relatively small company but also a great learning experience and a fantastic opportunity to work with some brilliant local suppliers.
Cuddybridge Apple Juice – Artisan producers of varietal apple juices from the Scottish Borders cuddybridgeapplejuice.com
Farne Salmon – Farne Salmon, based in the Scottish Borders, is one of the largest smoked salmon facilities in Europe. Established for over30 years they employ over 700 people at their factory in Duns farnesalmon.com
Breadshare – Organic bakers based in Edinburgh and the Borders. A social enterprise with a mission to produce natural healthy bread breadshare.co.uk
Bonaly Farm Dairy – Bonaly Farm provide Dairy products and deliveryservices throughout Edinburgh and the surrounding area www.bonalyfarmdairy.co.uk
Edinburgh Bacon – supplier of high quality bacon products 0131 554 9320
Campbell Brothers – Supplying quality meat, fresh fish and seafood and produce to professional kitchens throughout Scotland – campbellbrothers.co.uk
Hammond Charcuterie – Scottish charcuterie, free-range, rare-breed pork and wild game, all made into ham, terrines, pates, chorizo, salamis and other fine meats by Rachel Hammond –hammondcharcuterie.co.uk
Stichill Jerseys – Brenda Leddy of Stichill Jerseys has been producing butter, cream and cheese for over 30 years, using traditional methods and unpasteurised milk – 01573 470263
Cuckoo’s bakery – Artisan cupcake bakery and tearoom with traditional and exotic flavours, plus a delivery service cuckoosbakery.co.uk