When Emma Weekes decided to set up her own catering business, she knew that she wanted to make the countryside the heart of it through rustic cooking sourcing local produce. A Thyme For All Occasions has grown from strength to strength with Emma’s passion for rural themed cooking, from small informal dinner parties to large marquee receptions. Samantha Hobden from Haynet recently caught up with Emma to find out more about the story about this super countryside business:
You are a real country girl Emma – have you always had a passion for life in the countryside?
Yes, I have always had a huge passion for the country life. I grew up on a farm as my Nan and grandad owned one and we lived next door to them, so I would always wake up and take myself off down to the farm to bag the corn up with my grandad George! It’s the best childhood memories ever.
What was your childhood ambition?
When I was growing up I always wanted to be a midwife as I loved baby’s and I had every baby Annabelle a child could have ha ha. But I also always cooked with my Nan, my mum and sometimes for the family! And I just carried it on and I’ve never looked back.
When did you decide to step into the world of catering? What advice would you give a school leaver who was thinking of a career in this line of work?
So I started working for other caterers and really enjoyed it as I’m a real people person & I always looked up to the cooks as it’s a big job and a lot of responsibility and I didn’t think I would be able to do it myself …. but everyone told me I could. So I looked up the rules and regs & just went for it, it can be a bit scary at first but you wouldn’t look back it’s the best thing I’ve ever done! My advice would be don’t be scared you can do anything!
What have been the challenges of running your own catering business? Tell us about the highs and lows.
The most challenging for me is that other people can get jealous and for me, it’s sad as I truly believe there is enough work for everyone & no one is the same with what we do. We should all support each other especially the small businesses who have a passion for what we do.
Tell us about the story behind A Thyme For All Occasions. Your cooking has a very rural feel to it, what are your most popular dishes?
So I would say that my food is very “ country & rustic “ which is what I love! I like my pies to have a rough & flakey edge, I like my sausage rolls to be odd sizes it’s just how I like my food to look. My best dishes to cook are maybe sausage rolls as I use so many different flavours in them & also I really like to work with game meat, so my pheasant/duck sausage rolls were a real crowd pleaser. As for me, it’s not used enough!
On a day off where can we find you?
On a day off …. you will either find me in my kitchen or with my best friend at a food market or out beating on the local shoots with family and friends
What are your future plans for A Thyme For All Occasions?
My future plans are I would really love to do more “ street food“! I really want to try and get more people to try new food like game, as a lot of people are not too sure what to do with it & it’s so easy & tasty when you know how!
What would have been your Plan B if you hadn’t gone into catering?
Erm midwifery would have been my second choice but I wasn’t clever enough to go to uni ha ha ha!
Where do you hope to be in ten years time?
I hope to be as happy & loving my work ever more than I do now with a sign written VW camper van!
Against The Clock Questions
Champagne or Gin: Gin
Sunshine or Snow: Snow
Home Counties or Far Away Shores: Home Counties
Home Cooked or Eating Out: Home Cooked
Spend or Save: Bit of both lol
Music or Film: Music
Horse Racing or Racing Cars: Horse racing
Please come and follow Thyme For All Occasions: https://www.athymeforalloccasions.co.uk/