Sodexho has lost a school meals contract it has held for 27 years, Caterersearch has learnt.
A small independent caterer based in the West Country has won the deal to feed pupils at Monkton private school near Bath, ending Sodexho's long-term relationship there.
Palmer & Howells, which has 17 contracts and a turnover approaching £4m, impressed bosses at the Christian faith School in Monkton Combe with a commitment to using locally sourced produce. It has won itself a £1m annual turnover contract at Monkton that will see it serve 800 meals a day at the pre-pre, prep and senior schools on site.
Fruit and vegetables will be sourced from farms around Bath with beef from Stourhead Farm in Stourton, Wiltshire. The contract starts from 1 January.
It will also provide services at dozens of events throughout the year with a focus on the school's wedding business.
Lorraine Palmer told Caterersearch: "We are delighted the have won the Monkton contract, which underpins our commitment to net purchasing, use of local suppliers and the directors' hands on approach to the business."
Monkton began life as a senior school founded in 1868 by Reverend Francis Pocock, Vicar of Monkton Combe, and in 1992 became fully co-educational after a merger with Clarendon School for Girls.
It educates children from two to 18-years-old and has 600 plus pupils with many boarders.
Palmer & Howells was founded in 1999 by Lorraine Palmer and Kevin Howell, originally as Costwold Catering.
By Chris Druce