By Katie Royals
Setting up your own business is challenging at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic.
“I could’ve just sat down and done nothing, but I didn’t want to. Instead I’m taking life by the horns,”, Charlie, owner and founder of CM Catering, told hiya bucks.
Having launched CM Catering in December 2019, Charlie is remaining remarkably upbeat and even currently donating 50 percent of his profits to the NHS.
Explaining his rationale for this, Charlie said: “NHS staff are so undervalued and working so hard. Why can’t I give something back?”
Despite the obvious challenges, business appears to be booming. With so many orders, he starts work at 6am every day, making it a good thing he enjoys it.
Cooking is not a new passion of his, having had a keen interest in TV cooking shows and being in the kitchen from a young age – something that has continued and grown throughout his adult life.
He worked in the hospitality industry for a number of years, where, at first, he was terrified of the chefs. However, he braved the leap into the kitchen and has since worked as a chef in two prestigious Beaconsfield-based restaurants, where the environment was very supportive and “how it should be,” Charlie explained.
Inspired by being a dad and the desire to spend more time with his 8 year-old daughter, he decided to set up on his own, primarily focusing on catering for events. However, social distancing measures have put events on hold, meaning he is instead channelling his efforts into private orders.
Having worked for other people for so long, Charlie was used to everything he cooked being checked by the head chef and never getting the full credit for his work.
This means that when he now receives positive feedback it “fills [his] heart with joy.” He explained his cooking is very personal; it’s what he grew up eating and always loved.
As a “one man band”, with some help from his parents, Charlie has great ambitions for the family-run business. “I want to get the whole country cooking. It’s so vital families learn to cook and it can be the most exciting part of your day, particularly at the moment,” he explained.
He recalls the first cooking shows he watched on TV, “they were incredibly boring” and didn’t display the fun that can be had in the kitchen. Now the shows are much more engaging, but there is still more to be done.
Charlie has three main ways of solving this problem. Firstly, all his meals come with cooking instructions and recipes if people want them. He’s not precious about his recipes, rather is pleased that people enjoy the food and want to recreate it.
He also has a Youtube channel, which he uses to demonstrate how you can use your personality when you cook. Naturally, things do go wrong, but Charlie hopes to show that you can still have fun with it and make appetising meals.
The third strand is a future goal. Having seen his daughter enjoy helping cook, he wants to start a small cookery school for children to help take pressure of parents and educate young people about cooking.
Crystal ball gazing beyond this crisis, Charlie hopes to rebuild the catering side of his business but won’t stop taking personal orders as well. He enjoys working with individuals as they’re generally very kind and accommodating and loves to bring people joy through his cooking.
CM Catering delivers a range of meals, baked goods and bread all cooked to order. He is offering free delivery with his orders within a 7 mile radius and encourages anyone interested to drop him an email firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call on 07890 947332 as price lists are varying due to the current uncertainty.