I’m delighted to welcome Orla McAndrew Catering as our latest featured supplier on janeymac.ie 😊
Orla has shared the story behind setting up and running her successful catering business. She has also shared some insights into how she has adapted her business to cater for weddings during the pandemic – often having to organise everything at short notice.
She’s definitely an inspiration to any new business owners. 😁
Stay reading below to learn a little more about Orla and her story.
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
Orla McAndrew Catering began three years ago after a chance meeting with a stranger in the park! She was due to marry in 6 weeks and had yet to find a caterer. I had been working in a local cafe on Saturdays and taking care of my two young girls as a full time job but I had been dreaming about getting back to working in a more meaningful and fulfilling way. I seized the opportunity and told her “I think I could do that!”
It was an incredible turning point in my life as I’d spent years in college studying everything from Culinary Arts, to Speciality Food Production, to Cooperative Organisations, Food Marketing and Rural Development but had never quite decided what I was going to BE when I grew up. After that first wedding, I absolutely knew in my bones that this was the work Is been waiting for all my life. I loved everything about the planning, the menu creation, the sourcing of excellent food, the logistics and execution, the finding and managing the best team…. everything! It’s such a unique challenge to create a wedding from scratch, sourcing everything from marquees to planners, stylists, staff etc. I just love it!
- What are the current trends in terms of wedding catering and how has it been impacted by Covid?
At the moment I am getting more and more enquiries from couples wishing to host their event in their own back gardens or in their family’s homesteads. You’d be surprised what can be achieved in even the most modest spaces! Number restrictions have been very difficult on couples and suppliers alike as there have been a lot of cancellations and watching and waiting. I’m finding that people are just deciding to go ahead last minute and I’ve organised some weddings within 4 weeks, sourcing absolutely everything the couple have needed including photographers, hair and make up, entertainment, marquee etc etc. It’s surprising what can be achieved in a short period of time! Ideally a lot longer is preferable but when you know lots of the right people there’s usually someone available!
- What changes do you see coming down the tracks for your industry?
I see people leaning towards more modest and intimate events. The bride’s and grooms I’ve worked with over the past year have all commented on how wonderful it’s been to enjoy their day with those they really cherish. I think numbers of between 120 and 150 will become more normal then 250-300. Also, marquee events are so easy to personalise and style exactly as you’d wish.
- What is the best thing about catering for a wedding?
Oh my goodness……everything!!! Meeting the couple and finding out their preferences. Creating menu choices for them to decide upon, gathering my team, connecting the bride and groom with all of the suppliers they might need to help them achieve their dreams, the days before when my team and I are busy preparing in the kitchen and then the magic of the day itself!! Delivering beyond people’s expectations and coming away exhausted, exhilerated and on a high at another amazing day!
- What advice would you give to couples when it comes to their wedding day?
I would advise them to plan to take a moment in the day where they are alone and together..soak it up. It goes by very quickly but make sure to include elements of your personality throughout the day! It’s the biggest party of your life to date, enjoy every minute!