Former actors turned catering duo Grace & Skye know what it takes to whip up the perfect summer party-ready menu. Here we catch up with the pair to find out more about the inspiration behind their lockdown-launched business, their low-waste ethos, and their tips for other entrepreneurs just starting out.
Can you tell us a bit about how Grace & Skye started, and the inspiration behind it?
We started our journey as actors and writers but were often frustrated by the lack of creativity in our downtime, we both found that we would use our love of food and hosting as an outlet for storytelling. We would frequent each other’s dinner parties and neither of us could get out of each other's kitchens. We often joked about opening a small restaurant which led us to start our own supper club.
It was two days before our first ever event when lockdown hit. Weeks of housebound boredom led us to jump on the sourdough bandwagon, posting countless pictures of plates of food and playing around with new recipes. It was after Grace’s eighth cherry clafoutis experiment that we decided it was time to feed the public. Whether through supper clubs post lockdown, delivery picnics or catered events, the business was born.
What advice would you give someone looking to start a business in the food and drinks industry?
Be prepared to fail, whether it be in the kitchen or tackling the mountain of paperwork that comes with starting a business, nearly every day we turn to each other and say “always learning!”.
Another big lesson we have learnt is knowing your worth. Cooking takes time, effort and a lot of skill, so try your best to not undercharge at the beginning because you are “just starting out”. Get as much feedback as possible, especially from strangers, friends will always be too nice.
What are some of the ways you are seeking to live more sustainably at Grace & Skye?
Our pivotal aim from the beginning was to be low waste and seasonally driven and so far, we have achieved this. We source most of our produce from local suppliers and base our menus around what's available that month.
We make sure our packaging is plant based and compostable and we are working on expanding our kitchen gardens so we can limit the amount of mileage that comes with ordering in produce.
What is one of your favourite things about getting to run Grace & Skye?
The most gratifying thing about running our own business is having autonomy over our creative careers. With acting you are often waiting for the phone to ring, and you never quite know when the next job is going to be but starting Grace & Skye has given us the chance to be our own bosses. We have full creative license to make it our own and with that we strive to create a positive impact on the food industry through our choices. That’s really exciting.
How do you think the business will change with the lifting of lockdown?
The gradual change over the last month has meant an influx of bookings for small events as well as weddings and larger parties for the future. We have also been dreaming of opening a food stall at the weekends to sell our picnic boxes and as luck would have it we have just been offered a Saturday pitch at the Primrose Hill Farmers’ Market in North London, so keep an eye out for us biweekly come July.