Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of year wrap up !

well folks it's the 30th of December and the end of another year here at The Crest Catering Company. We had an eventful year and good in some ways and bad in others. We began with the very disappointing 7UP Christmas on ice , we rented a food stall for the duration of the event and unfortunately with ,weather , budget , X factor and the general non interest of the public it turned out to be a Snow Show !! if you'll pardon the pun , we nearly lost the business over it and reflecting on the accounts we are still paying for it. January also sadly saw the Death of one of our Customers here at the B&B, Willie Doherty a native of Donegal, and living in Dublin ,he and his family have stayed with us twice a year since we opened in 2001 , sadly missed. February saw us catering for the Gartan winter school and a great weekend was had by all , moving into what was to be the busy season we kept the catering company going with events, festivals and private functions , the B&B lay empty as hotels which are supported by banks slowly squeezed us out of the market and passed on cheap prices and just as cheap service to the customers that were willing to accept it !! not easy competing with €25.00 per person for sure. Joan & Peter another of our loyal clients paid us a visit this year with a 10 day stay and we are glad to welcome them again next year , we spoil them to no end and always a pleasure. The Cookery school held it's own again with renewed competition in the market but they say that is good for business , just remember folks there is only one Chef Martin Anderson ! No matter how cheap the class is it's the knowledge that you are learning from one of the most experienced chefs in the country that counts ! The summer saw us catering for the Blue Stack Shoes Festival in the Frosses , what a weekend that turned out to be over €150,000 raised for charity in total and i can safely say it was a long time since we worked as hard , the rally came and went and onto the Ramelton festival another great weekend was had by all , Churchill fair was also one of our regular events and i even judged a cake making display , was great to see the locals support the event and such a high standard. In the late summer we teamed up with Hillsborough farm shop ramelton!/pages/Hillsborough-Farm-Shop/107100602661860and with their help i have secured a weekly slot on , a wee 15 minute slot on the breakfast show with John Breslin which has turned out to be very popular and now running for nearly an hour every Wednesday morning, it is very relaxed with me giving out cookery tips and john hosting the questions and keeping me on my toes , mostly making sure i don't curse !!
We also started producing our own products for retail sale starting with scones, crumbles and moving into the lasagna, shepherds pies, soup , taco mince and hot pot market , with a few loyal customers we intend to expand to a large market in the new year, to be fair with out their support i could have seen the Catering Company close this year but we have struggled through once again. The winter seen saw the B&B still stay quiet with one local hotel offering rooms at €22.00 per person if you stayed 2 night , get a grip folks it is impossible to offer those rates and service , people want to come to Donegal to be treated right not shite !! how can you offer a cup of coffee and toast to someone and tell them that they are having a good time !!
We once again displayed our wares at the Taste Of Donegal Food Festival , this year how ever the event was larger and with a lot more stalls , disappointing too as there was more of a commercial air about it than a show case of local artisans !
Cookery classes in September saw a slowing of the market and with my weight loss programme i expected the classes to be busy with the introduction of a cook yourself thin class but at this stage the Banks, Fat cats and Pratts and scared everyone into staying at home and if you had any money they took it off you in tax's , fuel bills and inflated charges in the banks. T.D.'s came in for some abuse and they started to jump ship , getting their payoffs for being disappointed !! We worked out that if we received a T.D.'s salary for 1 year and their expenses that we could clear all our debt's, that includes redeem the mortgage for the B&B, Mobile Kitchen and tidy up the rest of the loose ends too !!
Winter again brought it's challenges with the adverse weather conditions and the general cancellation of bookings and classes.
 We saw a member of staff Karinka leave us to return home to Poland and we welcomed Sabine to the team here , a great photographer as well as worker and keeps me sane at times as does my mother who turned 70 this year and is always keeping me on the right track ! someone has to !!
So that's it all over for another year , i would like to thank all who supported us in good and bad times and we look forward to a good year next year , Happy new Year to you all. i kept the weight off too and look forward to losing more in the new year .


  1. what a lovely summary of the year Martin, I have really enjoyed meeting up with you a few times and introducing you to my son Zan and also new friends from England. I hope to be at a brunch one Sunday soon, All the best for 2011, Love Gill x

  2. thanks gill , it was a pleasure as always , may 2011 bring loads of Happyness to you , your family and friends, Martin x.