Supplier case studies
VegOut - vegetarian caterers
Your name: Pat Wilder & Diane Page
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business
We started VegOut because we wanted to provide exclusively veggie food that is interesting and original, particularly for weddings, parties and other events.
We have both been veggie for many years, primarily out of concern for animals and the environment, and we enjoy dealing with likeminded people, both as suppliers and clients. Every client is different, so we design individual menus in consultation with them to ensure we provide exactly what they want.
Flexibility is the key to our business and we are as happy just to deliver food for a buffet, or provide a full service with drinks.
What or who inspires you?
Fresh ingredients – the sight and smell of the first English strawberries, a box of organic tomatoes, wonderful squashes of all shapes and sizes in Autumn... just waiting to be made into an imaginative dish. Following on from this, the “who” (if we had to pick just one) is Dennis Cotter of Café Paradiso vegetarian restaurant in Cork. Sadly, we’ve not been there (yet), but his recipes are wonderful, and use seasonal ingredients in an inspiring way.
What do you enjoy most about running your business?
Being able to say “yes, we can do that” to clients wanting a range of dishes to choose from, who have only been offered “The Vegetarian Option” by mainstream catering companies (if they are vegan, they usually haven’t been offered anything except an uncomprehending look).
What is the most challenging aspect?
Reassuring some of our veggie clients that the non-veggies at the wedding will enjoy the food. Our tasting samples which we offer to clients when discussing menus, and testimonials (on our website) show this is not a problem!
What do you feel you bring to an ethical wedding?
Understanding of the issues involved, including animal welfare and environmental concerns, both of which are major features of a vegetarian lifestyle.
The wedding reception is one of the things which people most remember about the day; if the couple are concerned about ethical issues, it makes sense for the meal to be an important part of this by using ethically sourced ingredients, from organic local vegetables to Fairtrade coffee.
How do you see the wedding industry changing over the next five years (if at all)?
It seems as if the tide is turning against the consumerism of the past decade or two and there is no reason to think this will not apply to the wedding industry. Most, but not all, of our clients are vegetarian or vegan and have embraced this concept for some time, being ahead of mainstream thinking.
It is the thought which goes into the choices they make for their special day which is important, not how much it costs or whether it is “the latest thing”.
Find out more about VegOut - vegetarian caterers