Michael Collins founded Bubble Food in 1999 and, as managing director, he is the driving force behind its continued success. He talks to Katey Pigden about his passion for a well-executed event
I love entertaining and surprising people with things they haven't seen before. I'm from a large family and growing up I always got involved in organising family events and would try to make them feel special. I have a passion for exciting and well-executed events and felt there was a niche in the market for high-quality, creative and well-presented events. Bubble has tapped into that niche naturally over the years.
When I was at the age to make decisions about my career and studies, I didn't really know what to do. I was guided by my family to go into construction but, once I qualified, I realised that it wasn't for me. The repetition was too much and by stark contrast, working in the events industry is so varied and exciting.
I want an experience to transport me somewhere.
Eating is about so much more than just the food. Obviously what we put in our mouths is very important, but it's also about how it looks, what smells accompany it, the way the cutlery or the table linen feels, what sound treatment is playing and how this can make tastes sweeter or sharper. Taking this approach enables us, and the client, to create a truly impactful event that resonates with people on a personal and subconscious level. It is something guests won't forget in a hurry and will often share on social media.
Year-on-year, for the past 17 years, Bubble has grown. I want us to continue to do so, but it's vital that the company also continues to provide a very bespoke, personal and luxurious approach along with impeccable service at all times. I am not interested in watering things down so that we can churn things out that appeal to a mass market. Creativity is at the heart of Bubble and I want to maintain our imaginative approach.
Bubble was featured on Channel 4's The World's Most Expensive Food, which followed us creating a multi-sensory dinner party. It was funny to see myself on screen and it felt like a risk at the time as we had no control over the final product. Thankfully, the programme reflected the reality of Bubble events and highlighted why we are so unique in the industry.
We prioritise getting to know what our clients want to achieve and, just as importantly, what they wish to avoid. Our clients receive a dedicated service from one of our highly experienced event sales managers from the first point of enquiry to the event design and planning process through to delivery of the event itself and any follow-up required.
Bubble has had a very strong relationship with the film industry from the beginning. Our first corporate client was 20th Century Fox, who we still work with to this day. We work on film premieres, often in Leicester Square, providing VIP canapés and drinks for the international stars and industry executives. Recently we have worked on premieres such as Star Wars, Captain America and The Jungle Book. Some of our corporate clients include Google, Condé Naste, Sony Music, Issey Miyake, Flight Centre and Barclays.
Our executive head chef often creates entirely new menus for specific events where invaluable time is spent on the research and development of dishes. One of our most popular canapés - fish and chips using a micro fillet of seabass, aerated potatoes and tartare - is served on edible newspaper that can be branded with a client's logo, name of a product, or even to say happy birthday. We often create bespoke styling elements to reinforce a brand.
There have been so many memorable moments. Stand-out events include the Kent & Curwen Royal Charity Polo Cup, which was held at Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber's country estate and featured Prince William and Prince Harry leading their respective teams. Another example is the Chivas Royal Salute 21 multi-sensory dinner in the King's State Apartments at Kensington Palace. It was such an intricate event - the first of many Bubble events at the palace. I was so proud to see the efforts of my amazing team create a truly jaw-dropping experience.
Last year, we moved to a bigger site in order to accommodate the growth of the company. Given my background in construction, I was well-placed to design the layouts and project manage the building works, decoration and the move itself. We are now fully settled and loving the new space.
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