News release from 05/12/2022
Organic catering business owner thanks Council for support
The owner of a mobile catering business is encouraging companies to ask for advice from the District Council after celebrating her own success thanks to their support through the pandemic and beyond.
Thérèse Coyne created a bespoke trailer for her Wedding and Corporate Event catering business, The TeaPod, specialising in delicious treats like sweet and savoury crêpes and waffles alongside speciality teas, milkshakes and smoothies and bubble teas - and coffee is coming soon!
Set up in February 2020, and with 15 bookings ready to go, the pandemic hit within days of her launch and the entire hospitality industry was placed on hold as the country went into lockdown.
Thérèse, of Balsham, said: “It was a devastating blow for such a young business. It meant I wasn’t eligible for government support and had no idea how I was going to cope.”
Luckily, she was directed to South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Business Support team who helped her access a Growth Fund grant, using money from the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grant.
The money was used to train as an independent celebrant and fund an ongoing marketing campaign, so when the time was right, she could jump straight back into running The TeaPod and expand services within the industry she loves.
“Without the Council’s support, my little business would not have survived,” Thérèse said. “The team gave me sound advice around diversification and kept me focused on opportunities in the wedding and corporate events space along with the means to invest in marketing and staff training.
“With an unusable trailer sitting on the driveway, I had to think outside the box but stay ‘laser focused’ on the industry I was so invested in. I had worked hard to establish contacts at local wedding venues so, whilst we were all "locked in," I used my grant from the Growth Fund to train as a wedding celebrant. I did enough marketing to make sure potential clients were aware that The TeaPod was still trading. It all meant I was ‘business-ready’ for when we able to reopen.
“We had a steady stream of bookings for 2022 and lots of testimonials from happy clients - I am chuffed!”
As a certified independent celebrant Thérèse trades as Butterfly Heart Celebrations. Meanwhile, The TeaPod has grown to employ a team of adults and young people, including one young person who has suffered a brain injury. Thérèse’s background in Learning and Development means she can encourage and assist young people in valuable life skills through working in public facing roles.
The TeaPod also has a ‘pop-up’ gazebo to complement the trailer, to provide catering at events of all sizes, from weddings to corporate events and private parties.
Cllr Peter McDonald, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We are committed to supporting local businesses of all sizes and are proud we could help Thérèse develop and grow her company, creating valuable employment opportunities for local people. We would urge anyone else looking for advice and support to get in touch.”
Cllr Geoff Harvey, the councillor for Balsham, said: “I’d like to wish Thérèse all the very best with The TeaPod and hope her story also helps inspire others. It’s wonderful to read about local business succeeding thanks to their dedication and passion, combined with the right tailored support, given at the right time.”
The council’s Business Support and Development team is on hand to help companies in South Cambridgeshire find the resources they need to launch, sustain, or grow. They also provide advice to businesses who need to diversify to help recover from the effects of the pandemic.
Support for your business
For more information about The TeaPod visit www.theteapod.co.uk, call 07495 099040 or email email@example.com