PV meets Katy, the founder of dishdelish. Dishdelish creates grazing platters for parties and events. We caught up with Katy to find out more about her and her business. Prepare to be inspired.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Katy, a South London-based mum who quit a successful career in fashion buying, trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine (passing with a distinction!) and embarked on a new life in food.
The fashion retail industry was becoming increasingly challenging, pressured and virtually impossible to juggle with two young children. I needed to find something more flexible that could give me and my family a better balanced home life. I’ve always loved all things food so felt like now was the right time to go for it!
I also love Pilates; I started going to classes when I became pregnant first time round and I haven’t stopped since! I’m not an avid handbag or shoe shopper – coats are my thing! And anything pink, unless it’s wine – in which case I love a glass of red or sparkling! Thursdays are often a busy day for me, cooking for Friday or Saturday jobs and I can usually be found dancing around the kitchen to the Sugababes!
What inspired your concept/idea for your business?
dishdelish combines my creativity and love of colour to create beautiful, relaxed, social feasts that focus on delicious homemade food.
I’ve always had a huge interest in food and I really value cooking from scratch. There are a lot of cheese and charcuterie grazing companies that all look pretty similar, so I felt it was important to offer something different. My platters always include plenty of homemade elements such as mini tartlets and dips; banana bread and energy balls, crostini toasts and oaty biscuits. I can happily layer on cheese and chacuterié too if that’s what you fancy! I love to make my platters super colourful and add plenty of herbs and edible florals to keep them looking fresh and vibrant!
Grazing feasts are a really social and relaxed style of catering too and that definitely fits my personality! I’ve never been a formal person and much prefer stuff to be more relaxed. My platters look far prettier than a few bowls of crisps & bought snacks and are much more nutritious too! They also come without the formality of catering staff. I set up ahead of your event on gorgeous handmade wooden boards and leave you to it!
When starting, did you have challenges & how did you overcome these?
Quantities and pricing were both really tricky areas. For pricing, I did quite a bit of research before I started, but estimating quantities was far more difficult. After every job I ask the client if the level of food was sufficient and fortunately – so far – I’ve seemed to get it spot on each time! This gave me plenty more assurance for future jobs.
What has been your biggest success so far?
I’ve done three jobs for Boden now, including the first birthday of its Westfield store. Catering for such a great British retailer felt like a real achievement. Being asked back for repeat business is always great; it gives me encouragement that I’m doing the right thing, and doing it well!
How do you juggle family life and your business?
I’ve always been really organised and like to plan ahead! These were crucial skills in a fast-paced buying office and they’ve been invaluable in running my business. I plan my time well ensuring that some of my options can be made ahead so that not everything has to be done last minute. I’d hate that! And I manage as much as I can within school hours.
I spend a lot of time juggling my fridge & freezer, as well as the family stuff! My husband often opens the fridge door and looks in despair at not knowing what he’s allowed to eat!
How do you find time to relax while not working?
I absolutely love my Pilates! I go a few times a week but the early Saturday morning class is probably my favourite as it’s such a great way to start the weekend (unless I’ve been out the night before, then 7.20am is definitely a bit much)!
I try to keep evenings for me, my husband and a good drama on the telly! I know I’m way behind but currently loving The Crown.
What is your top tip tips for starting a small business?
I saw a fantastic career coach when I was thinking about leaving my long-standing career. I found these sessions hugely useful as they really helped me focus and prioritise when I began to feel overwhelmed. It was these sessions that also made it really clear to me that I wanted to start my own business, which before was never something I’d have imagined myself doing!
Also, keep reminding yourself of how far you’ve come and what you have achieved. It’s normal to have doubts and worries, especially in the early days, so just try to focus on the good feedback you’ve had. Friends and family have been amazing at giving me so much encouragement and reminding me how well I’ve done, so always talk through with someone close if you’re having a wobble!
If you could invite a special guest dinner party who would it be?
Probably Gary Barlow! Everyone loves him don’t they? So he’d get on well with your other guests and he could provide the tunes! He might even bring Robbie along with him!
To find out more about Katy’s grazing platters, click here