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Catering firm sets sights on growth

PUBLISHED: 10:21 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:29 12 July 2010

A north Suffolk catering company, which has thrived during the recession, has set its sights on further growth after announcing £3m worth of new business.

A north Suffolk catering company, which has thrived during the recession, has set its sights on further growth after announcing £3m worth of new business.

Family-run Churchill Catering was formed 14 years ago and has expanded from supplying food and drink to one business to having contracts with several major employers.

The firm, which has its headquarters in Rickinghall, is set create about 70 new jobs after securing extra work in Norwich, Thetford, and Essex.

Churchill Catering, which employs 250 people in the region and serves businesses as far afield as Devon and Durham, is also set to extend into the capital with the acquisition of a London catering company.

Its new contracts will involve managing staff restaurants, cafes, and hospitality at firms on the Norwich Research Park at Colney, Trox in Thetford, and the Harlow Leisure Zone.

Managing Director Tony Nicholl, who runs the firm with his wife Liz, daughter Sharon, and son Stuart, said business had done “exceptionally well” during the economic downturn.

“The recession has been a real benefit for us because it has made companies look at their costs and catering services are a real overhead. We can add value and that may mean extra services.”

“What makes us different is the fact that generally we are about 30pc below the cost of our competitors and we can do that because we buy from local suppliers here in East Anglia and we keep our overheads low,” he said.

Mr Nicholl and his son began Churchill Catering in Snetterton in 1996 with a contract with Palmer and Harvey in Brandon.

The company, which relocated to Rickinghall four years ago, also provides catering services for the likes of KLM at Norwich International Airport, 2 Sisters Food Group in Stowmarket and Flixton, Diss Golf Club, Vergo retail stores throughout the region, Syfer Technology in Norwich, DHL in Stanton, and Camvac in Thetford.

Mr Nicholl added that local suppliers had also expanded as a result of the growth of Churchill Catering.

“We continuously seek ways to reinvent our offering and we have one of the most innovative catering solutions available with a focus on quality, healthy eating and a commitment to reduce our costs by 2pc every year,” he said.

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