Bradford garden centre catering supervisor reaches Catering Rising Stars final

A Castleford catering supervisor who was awarded a place on a new training programme for garden centre catering staff earlier in the year has reached the final stage.

Following the success of the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Rising Stars initiative, a new programme aimed specifically at garden centre catering staff was launched at its conference in January and catering staff from all over the UK were invited to apply.

Susie Jarrett from Tong Garden Centre was awarded one of the ten coveted places on the programme that comprised masterclasses to help staff to improve their knowledge and experience, as well as giving them exposure and insight in the wider market place.

Having completed masterclasses in Preston in April, Tamworth in June and London in September, Susie learnt that she is one of five finalists who will present to delegates at the GCA annual conference in Luton on January 21.

Susie, who is responsible for rotas and promotions at Tong Garden Centre’s busy 400 seater restaurant, said: “I have learnt so much from the Catering Rising Stars programme and am so grateful for all the support I have had along the way. I’m delighted to have reached the final and, although it will be nerve-wracking to present to so many people, I am looking forward to sharing Tong’s catering successes with the audience.”

Susie’s line manager, Catharine Westmoreland, is very proud of her team member: “Susie is a valued member of our team and her commitment and passion are unquestionable.

“She has worked hard to make the most of this amazing opportunity and has done us all proud to reach the final.”

GCA chief executive Iain Wylie added: “Between masterclasses, the Rising Stars had to complete exercises on what they have learnt within their own garden centres and assess the performance of their centre’s catering unit, try out new ideas and evaluate the results.”

The award for ‘GCA Catering Rising Star 2018′ will be voted on by conference delegates and will be announced during the conference gala dinner on January 22.

Sponsored by Creed Foodservice and facilitated by Chris Brown from Turpin Smale Catering Consultants, the programme has been developed to highlight and develop the talented individuals in garden centre restaurants and cafés and to recognise the important role that catering plays in the industry.