Rockpool Catering started about 11 years ago, touring with bands. I started working in this industry in 1989, after befriending a production manager and catering for ACDC.
I was told that I was guaranteed some work with Metallica and I realised from there that there was a gap in the market. I travelled the world and set up the Rockpool Catering company, from there it has grown year on year. We had a pop-up in Cowes, Isle of Wight and I was invited up to Production Park with the Warehouse facility etc and we built a café on the site. When Covid-19 hit, touring with musicians stopped. Myself and my colleagues got together and decided it was time to give back. We read lots about underprivileged children and started reaching out to suppliers for free products for this venture. From here we started #cateringforourcommunity; we began by providing to the Community Hubs, producing meals for four locations. We distributed around 10,000 fresh portions in six weeks and have continued this relationship with the Hubs, but now provide meat and vegetables etc, instead of the ready meals. We really have had to re-invent the business to a centre for voluntary work, handing out 700 meals a week.
It means a great deal to me to be helping during the coronavirus pandemic. I love giving people opportunities. Going out of our way a little bit to find out what help people need and seeing that we can make a difference has been so rewarding. Just being a decent person. We all need chances and opportunities and it’s so good to see the rewards at the end with a little bit of effort.
I am most proud of the gusto shown by all the staff and community. It has shown the real essence of true British grit. Personally, visiting people and such, being inspired by all the children. We visit Havercroft and Ryhill on Tuesdays and recently delivered a gazebo, the thanks that we received were heart-warming. It’s been so fantastic getting the feedback that we have done; we are going to keep planning on how we can expand our work.
Now that guidelines are changing, we will be opening up outdoors and in various locations to do morning and evening sessions with groups of children to start ‘Studio Kitchen’. These sessions will be cooking lessons/ tutorials, aimed at inspiring young people with the backgrounds of cuisines, teaching them life skills about costings etc and provide them with a healthy snack and meal to take home afterwards. We plan to expand this around the District and beyond. We really are giving the industry a push to inspire young people with an interest in music and put South Kirkby on the map. They will be healthy, appetising meals taught by Rockstar chefs!