So it’s the first Saturday in June 2020 and we should be head deep in back to back weddings – 3 per day!!! How things are so so different from what we were expecting… We had our busiest ever summer booked in and yet here I am sat watching TV on a Saturday morning during peak wedding season…

During the lockdown, we have had to think about how we could adapt our services so that we could still offer catering during this pandemic. Not only to sustain and keep Paisley Flour moving with the times but also for my sanity! I am a 100% workaholic!!! I sometimes question the reasons why I work in catering (because it is sometimes cruel) however I am actually in love with what I do and everyone that knows me will tell you that I am addicted it and just recently I have noticed even more how it completely rules my life.

Just recently during the lockdown and having the WHOLE kitchen to myself I have fallen in love with it all again! It has certainly given me time to reflect on what I have achieved, what I love to create and it has given me back some of the creativity which is sometimes overlooked when you are just so busy creating dream weddings.
Walking into work when there is no one else there, turning on the coffee machine and planning the day, just gives me the most overwhelming feeling of excitement, pride and energy.

I turn on the radio, switch on the ovens – and so it begins! Working alone and by yourself has also taken me back to the days when I was working from home, alone in my kitchen in the alps and from within my galley when working on a yacht in the med… It would have been a similar situation, staying in the kitchen until my work was done. Sometimes 18 hour days!!! I have worked very hard since then to have a team of chefs which come and help out with the long hours, so I can get back to my son, Solomon, but the days are back when it’s just me!!

Brownies, Brownies, Brownies …

I have launched a few things which have become a new part of the business for Paisley Flour and will be staying with us now, hopefully for a very long time. Back in early May I was asked to make some brownies for a corporate client to send to some of the team as an extra special thank you. After baking a few trays and sending them off, gifting them to the family and trialling a few boxes in the post, they looked like they could be a little bit of “thing” for us. 

Our first week we posted out 24 boxes, the second week just over 40, 3rd week 70+ and each week since the numbers have continued to grow! We have been able to adapt the recipe and packaging so we can post them nationwide which has also given us a huge boost to the business. We have been packaging them up and baking them in military precision and now we have baked over 10,000 individual brownies… which has been INCREDIBLE!!! 

Unknowingly to us, these gooey, rich, Belgium chocolate bites of delight, have given us a much needed boost of moral. In just the 6 weeks we have been baking them, we have been able to invest the profits straight back into the business!

We have brought two brand new ovens, sustained our overheads and also been able to secure and buy, our new project – “ Boris”. Which brings me to my next topic…

“Boris” the BBQ

At the beginning of the year, we were planning on buying a new BBQ, as this has been one of our most popular enquiries for weddings and events. We didn’t want to just buy a standard gas BBQ, in true paisley style we wanted something a little different and it needed to be charcoal-fuelled, so we can get some AMAZING flavours! 

Back in February we had found what the one we wanted and were in the process of planning how to get the Trail Blazer 600. This is a stunning BBQ, designed, built and manufactured in the UK. 

However, once lockdown hit us, we had to hold off the purchase and forget about it… 

After all of the success of the brownies we decided that we would reinvest the money into the business and go and get “Boris”. I would like to say it was a very tough decision, but I had already made my mind up months ago…!!! Boris is now on his way to us and will be officially introduced next week… We just cannot wait to fire him up! There will be a Street food “Pop up” with him before the end of June so keep your eyes peeled…

Pizza Pop-Up 

We have also launched our pop-up kitchen and been able to get “Priscilla”, our pizza oven, out there in town, offering a click and collect service for the local community. We have made a new pizza menu and added a few classic’s with a twist. Going forward we hope to be in Bewdley every two weeks and then we will have a spot in Stourport at the ‘Brother’s of Ale’ brewery just off the Gilgal. You can find us this week at Kemp Hospice in Kidderminster opposite the police station… where we will be donating a % of the nights’ profits to the charity.

3 Course Meals 

We have also launched a Paisley Three Course Meal for collection. I have designed these menus, which change weekly, for those of you who are celebrating special occasions. We have had a number of people ask us to do something for them, from wedding anniversary to birthdays etc, so we thought it would be a nice to offer something a little special which you just can’t get at the moment. 

We wanted to offer our style of cooking with a restaurant-feel to your special occasion, so where you would normally go and dine out, you can still celebrate good food in the comfort of your own home! 

I have based these menus on traditional and Mediterranean cuisine, and we have also just launched our Father’s Day BBQ box (for collectin Saturday 20th June).

As always, we are forever in the process of planning more new and exciting ideas so keep your eyes peeled!!! Although, I don’t think we are going to be back to normal for quite some time yet, especially those of us who are in the hospitality industry… so we will keep trying to be inventive and bring you things which maybe you have not seen or tried before!

So generally we are keeping well and optimistic and I cannot tell you how excited I am to get back to doing larger functions! I am hoping that this life-changing pandemic will have a positive impact on both myself & Paisley Flour and we will only achieve better and bigger things.

Can’t wait to see you all at the party!!! (lets hope that’s asap!!!!)

Emma x