Cater­ers have busi­ness re­ally cook­ing

Hawke's Bay Today - - LOCAL NEWS -

After 37 years run­ning their ca­ter­ing com­pany, Sam and Mary Or­ton have wel­comed youngest son James into a key role — and to­gether with the wider team they’ve re­branded from Or­ton Tai­lored Cui­sine to, sim­ply, Or­ton’s.

The new role and the new brand are two hugely pos­i­tive steps for the Or­tons, says Sam, and came “at the per­fect time”, just as he and Mary had started dis­cussing a suc­ces­sion plan.

James, 26, had been liv­ing in Auck­land and work­ing in lo­gis­tics for Main­freight. But like many from Hawke’s Bay, he’d take ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to come home, see friends and fam­ily, and lend a hand in the fam­ily busi­ness. In 2017, he de­cided to join the ex­o­dus of young pro­fes­sion­als from Auck­land, and asked about a for­mal role in the busi­ness.

“It was mid­way through last year that James de­cided he’d re­ally like to join us full-time,” Sam said. “That was a huge thrill for us — we loved the thought that the com­pany would re­main in the fam­ily if Mary and I ever stepped away.”

James, who holds a Bach­e­lor of Mar­ket­ing, has al­ways en­joyed the hos­pi­tal­ity trade, says his proud dad, and started out as func­tions man­ager dur­ing a busy sum­mer of wed­dings, func­tions and large events, be­fore mov­ing up to busi­ness man­ager in April this year.

“He fits in well. To­gether with our gen­eral man­ager, Jade Bar­ber, who pos­sesses such in­depth ex­per­tise in event man­age­ment, and Adrian Hart, our hugely tal­ented head chef, we have a dream team. Our plan now is to fur­ther ce­ment our rep­u­ta­tion as the best in the busi­ness when it comes to pre­par­ing and de­liv­er­ing good food, and build on our ex­cel­lent, and grow­ing, event ca­pa­bil­ity.”

Sam and his team suc­cess­fully took on the Kete Kai cafe´ at Hawke’s Bay air­port in 2015 and won the con­tract to cater at Wood­ford House in 2017.

“It keeps us busy, but we love it, and it means we can now em­ploy over 40 full-time staff here in Hawke’s Bay — we’re very proud of that.”

PHOTO / SUP­PLIED

Or­ton’s team (from left), are head chef Adrian Hart, gen­eral man­ager Jade Bar­ber, Sam Or­ton, Mary Or­ton, op­er­a­tions man­ager Niki Owen and James Or­ton.

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