McLaren Fine Foods

My partner, Adam McLaren has been a chef for over 20 years and until last year, was the executive head chef at Brooklands Hotel, Weybridge where he won two AA rosettes among other awards. He then moved on to work in London as the executive head chef for a group of new restaurants. We began our business during March just before lockdown with a view of helping our community at a time when a lot of people were not keen or able to get out to supermarkets. We were also worried that we ourselves may be furloughed and that the suppliers that usually deliver to restaurants, hotels and schools were starting to slow right down and suffer due to the pandemic. So we started to offer local delivery of fresh fruit & vegetable boxes, advertising on social media in local community groups, we became very popular, very quickly. We would get our deliveries in the early hours from our suppliers at Covent Garden Market, pack the boxes, then go out after work each day to make our deliveries. We were then able to add meat and dairy produce as we continued to grow. After a few weeks, we noticed that a lot of others were starting similar enterprises and decided that we could expand our services. Realising that people were beginning to miss other things such as going out for treats and given Adam’s experience as a pastry chef, we decided to offer an afternoon tea delivery service. We began by taking bookings for Sundays alone, then as the demand increased, Adam decided to leave his job in London and work for us full time. We have now delivered almost 2000 afternoon teas in just 4 months, while maintaining excellent quality and outstanding value we’ve received an overwhelming amount of positive reviews and fantastic community support during this time including an appearance in Surrey Life Magazine and the Woking News & Mail newspaper. We have now developed further to offer a range of other products for delivery as an independent online grocery shop with a lot of freshly made items too including our new catering menus that we offer for private parties and events. We have a large focus on local produce and stock cheeses, Gin, wines, craft beers and much more, all made in Surrey. Now as we continue to move forward, we are excited to be opening our shop in Weybridge in the coming months, it will be a fine foods store with a city farm shop feel. We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved so far and hope to continue to grow. During these last months, we have also been able to support various charities and events and are grateful for the opportunities that have come to us so far. We love our community and have strong support for fellow small businesses, especially during the current crisis. Although the pandemic has brought a lot of hard times for many, we are proud to be one of the positive stories.


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