After enjoying many hot chocolates and bacon baguettes at Pierreponts, I wanted to find out more about their business, their ethos and how they have found the last 6 years of running a catering business.
“What is the ethos of Pierreponts?”
“Our goal is to provide a café that delivers sustainable and local products where possible, and to put this together with great service. We’re all about the community that we are in and that we work with, whether that’s the suppliers or the customers.”
“Why is having locally, sustainably sourced food important to you?”
“Everything we do in this world has an impact on the environment that we live in, therefore if we work locally, it enables us to put back into the local economy and means we can try and reduce things like food miles. However, there is always a balance between cost, availability, and impact on the environment. Sometimes, it isn’t possible to be as amazing as you’d like to be, but you try your best.”
“Do you think the catering industry as a whole, is doing enough in regard to sustainability and food waste?”
“I think the catering industry is heading in the right direction. There is a probably still a long way for the industry to go, but that again is all about balance. A challenge the industry faces is that what people want is sometimes scarce, and you can’t source those products locally. We are always reviewing how we can do better. During the pandemic we had to re-think our packaging as we had to switch everything to takeaway. We had to think of new ideas, for example if you bring in your own coffee cup, we give you 30p off your coffee.”
“What is your favourite dish, and has it inspired any dishes at Pierreponts?”
Phil laughs.. and says “I’m a sucker for a lasagne”, which I thought was a great choice… and responded “who doesn’t like lasagne?”
Phil added “During the last year we did at home delivery meals for people and lasagne was definitely a popular dish that people loved. People were after that feeling that good home cooked food gives you. It’s not on our usual menu, however it is still on our ‘At Home’ menu and continues to be very popular.”
“Is the reality of running a small catering business anywhere close to what you imagined?”
“I don’t think we came in with any preconceptions of what it would be. It is incredibly rewarding, seeing customers go away happy, but on the flip side, it is also very hard work. It’s with you 7-days a week, from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed. It was a steep learning curve when we started out 6 years ago, but it’s been fun journey and we’ve worked and met great people along the way.”
“What is the ultimate dream for Pierreponts @ the Quad?”
“At the moment, its actually about the small steps forward. Its about getting back to normal business to start with. We want to support the customers we have by getting the food that they want. We are hoping to re-energise things like the corporate lunch offering, as it has been interesting to see as people are beginning to come back, we have been doing things such as corporate lunch picnics, which have gone down well.”
“Things are definitely looking up, and we are hoping to start increasing our offering and are very much looking forward to the outside space being finished, as we think that will make a massive difference."