Competition for catering school shows strength of “foodie” market

A local celebrity chef, an accountant and several others fought over this terrific, two-brand business in Milton Keynes. The successful buyer has already announced her intention to launch a third brand in the New Year.

The cookery school was set up five years ago in Broughton, on the edge of Milton Keynes, to meet a gap in the market for training chalet chefs to work as seasonaires. The Mountain Chef brand was established and is now recognized amongst top Alpine ski resorts for producing some of the highest quality chalet staff. Following this success, a second brand, Inspired Gourmet was created to offer a range of cookery courses, corporate cookery events, cookery parties and private catering.

The new owner, Victoria Longden, has worked in the food industry as an accountant for the past 15 years:
I have always been a passionate foodie so when I saw the cookery school for sale I knew this was the opportunity I had been waiting for”.

Since taking over the school Victoria has enhanced the delivery of public and corporate events and expanded the team to match the growth she is experiencing. The school is going from strength to strength, with Victoria very much a hands-on presence: “We are a small, close-knit team which pulls out all the stops to deliver a truly exceptional experience”.

January 2014 will see the launch of The Inspired Wine School, a partnership with The Woburn Wine Company. “It is a very exciting project for us” says Victoria, “We have put together some great courses for the Wine School and had a fantastic response. We offer the perfect setting for people who love wine and want to learn more about it”.

Business Partnership’s Andrew Coulter, who handled the transaction, commented:

“Good food and how to prepare it well is featured in some way just about every night on prime time TV, whether it’s Saturday Morning Kitchen, The Great British Bake Off or Master Chef. This sale shows how a popular sector offers multiple opportunities to use the credibility of one brand or product to launch others.”

The business was marketed at £200,000 and sold for an undisclosed figure.

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