Get out the party hats and light the candles on that cake. Epicurus Events has come of age, marking its eighteenth year as a valued catering and event planning provider in the North East of England.
Managing Director Chris Reay founded Epicurus in March 1998, having spent his teen years and university holidays working for a caterer in Northumberland. “What I realised during that time, however, was that clients were often dealing with a number of suppliers; the caterer, the equipment hire company, the bar company and so on,” he says. “I couldn’t understand why one company didn’t just do the lot – so Epicurus was born!”
Starting out, the Reay family home was the base of operations. “I worked from my parent’s house, using my bedroom as an office and the family kitchen for production and my Nissan Micra for deliveries!” Though the headquarters were humble, the food was fantastic, and it didn’t take long before Chris earned his first contract with Newcastle University, whom the company still supplies eighteen years later, picking up three Excellent Supplier Awards from the University in that time.
Epicurus expanded rapidly, catering functions and weddings across the region, and by the turn of the millennium, Chris had taken on commercial premises in the form of a 750 sq ft industrial unit. That same year, the MD won Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the North Tyneside Council Business Awards in recognition of his growing company. Within two years, Epicurus had expanded into another unit next door, accommodating for the increasingly popular equipment hire arm of the business.
As the name Epicurus became synonymous with quality catering, Chris took on more chefs, kitchen assistants and serving staff to meet the demand. By 2005, the business had outgrown its current premises, prompting another relocation – this time to a 8500 sq ft factory unit on the Tyne Tunnel Estate, which now features a purpose-built kitchen, a vast warehouse facility and plenty of office space.
As we celebrate our 18th birthday, Epicurus is still going strong, with eight full-time employees working hard to deliver unique occasions across the North East. “I have no intention of making business massive,” Chris insists. “We would rather concentrate on niche events done well, bringing something different to the table at weddings, functions and special occasions. It’s taken a lot of hard work from myself and my team to make Epicurus Events one of the region’s most trusted caterers. Here’s to the next eighteen years!”