We caught up with Leslie and Aaron from family run, hog roast and live events caterer Bapman & Hoggin’ for our latest Caterer Spotlight to talk about good quality grub, business survival and what the future holds.
Hi guys lovely to chat to you! Give us a quick rundown of how Bapman & Hoggin’ began?
Bapman & Hoggin’ came about from a love of good quality food and a passion for live events. Aaron is a butcher by trade and has been since he left school, he is really passionate about good quality meat and supporting local providers. I am Leslie, Aaron’s other half. I have a background in Events Management and a few years ago I completed my Masters in Marketing. Our backgrounds made it a really smooth process to get our festival catering off the ground in 2018 and we had a successful 18 months before Covid-19.
Unfortunately our events side of the business took a huge hit during Covid. but where many saw problems we saw an opportunity for growth. We were able to get a bounce back loan from the government which has meant we’ve been able to diversify the business and begin to turn our local hog roast business into a local butchers – we are even beginning to do national deliveries.
How did you keep the business going during lockdown? Were you already running a delivery service to customers?
It’s been really tough. We like many small businesses in the events industry had our usual events drop off overnight. This time last year we were in the main arena at Leeds Festival serving thousands of people our food (not a bad pitch for our 1st year of trading!). When Covid hit, events went straight out of the window. We sat down and looked at our options, and when we found out we were able to get a bounce back loan we knew we had to take the leap and push into the butchers market – the delivery side of things was a natural progression with social distancing and people being in lockdown.
Are you going to keep some / all of the ways you pivoted your business through Covid-19 in place?
Absolutely. We know the economy has taken a hit and many businesses are struggling, we know that hard times are still ahead but we’ve got to keep agile and keep providing a service we know people need. We are in it for the long haul. We are now beginning to move into markets in the UK more firmly. This means not only are we attending as caterers but we now have the option to sell our fresh meat products to consumers also.
What’s the best thing about working in catering and what are you most looking forward to doing again once Covid-19 is a distant memory?
We are really glad we’ve had the opportunity to take some time out of the festival scene and opening the butchers has meant that we now produce all of our sausages, burgers and the like in house. We are really excited for live events to kick back up so we can meet our customers face to face again and brag about our hand tied sausages and new burger recipes!
Tell us more about your award wins and how people can get involved.
Yorkshire Category Winner for Food & Drink
Yorkshire Young Trader of the Year 2020
This means he’s made it into the National Final to compete against 45 other traders on the day for the Young Trader of the Year Award. Last year Aaron came highly commended in both regional and national events with NMTF so winning the category is a huge step in the right direction. The National final this year takes place in Stratford-upon-Avon on the 28th and 29th of August and it’s judged by a panel from NMTF. We’d love some support on the day – it’s an open event and social distancing measures are in place to keep visitors safe.
How can we find out more about your business?
What’s next for Bapman & Hoggin’?
Our first step is to get our nationwide delivery off the ground but beyond that we’d love a fixed location to serve our festival grub from – we’d love a restaurant. We really are big foodies and good grub at pocket friendly prices is what we are all about. We’d love to venture down the restaurant route so fingers crossed we can invite you in for a sit down meal in the future! On a personal note we are still holding out hope that our wedding will be able to go ahead in February 2021…No we aren’t doing our own catering haha!