Independent caterer Thomas and Tate launches to shake up industry

04 September 2023 by
Independent caterer Thomas and Tate launches to shake up industry

Foodservice directors Thomas Pass, Sam Tate and Adam Nossek are to launch new B&I caterer Thomas & Tate which they said will focus on being "palpably better" than its competitors.

Pass, founder of Catey-award-winning education caterer Culinera; Tate, former BaxterStorey regional director and Nossek, previously culinary director of BaxterStorey, said their aim was to be the "best part of everyone's day", with a bespoke proposition that will pride itself on owner-managed relationships.

Pass told The Caterer: "We think there's a massive gap in the market. There are not many operators out there that are independent and doing something truly client focused.

"Our stance on things is that we want to be palpably better. Everything we do is about obsessing over the detail of things. We have all come through the ranks, so we're used to being on the ground leading operations. We want to be known as the premium caterer, with real authenticity."

Pass joined WSH as an apprentice in 2010, before working his way through the ranks in BaxterStorey, Caterlink and Searcys, which he left to establish Culinera having achieved the position of sales director.

Tate joined BaxterStorey in 2008 having worked in pubs and restaurants, including Angela Hartnett's Michelin-starred Murano. When he departed the business last month, he was regional director overseeing more than £35m of business including clients such as Amazon, Red Bull and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Nossek worked with BaxterStorey for 22 years climbing through the ranks to the position of culinary director.

Thomas & Tate, which is entering discussions with potential customers, will be focused on the home counties and London and is looking to secure contracts for workplaces, venues, cafes and delis as well as bespoke events.

The founders have not taken on external funding and will lead the business personally, creating an agile environment where they can adapt quickly to a client's needs, something they believe the market is calling for.

Tate said: "People are going into the office less, so that mundane routine of visiting the catering facilities everyday has gone. Now there is a real opportunity to encourage multiple visits throughout the day.

"We believe that can be used to improve catering propositions. Clients are using catering to encourage people back into the office and appreciating the value of a great food offer as a staff benefit. In an employee focused market we believe we can push our focus on quality, which is exactly where we want to be.

"We don't have to be the cheapest but we absolutely want to be the best, to add value and create experiences. Realistically flexible working is here to stay but we believe there's an opportunity there to do exciting and dynamic things to increase participation within that."

The founders have stated their intentions for Thomas & Tate at the outset, registering for B-Corp status and making a commitment to provide 100 portions of their signature leek and potato soup a week for food poverty charity the Felix Project.

Training and developing the next generation of talent will also be a focus and the business is working with partners to build a bespoke leadership apprenticeship programme.

Nossek will build supply chains by developing direct grower relationships and working with SMEs. The business will share some systems and suppliers with sister company Culinera and has made an early investment in AI till technology, signage and team management systems.

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