We are The Bees!
If you haven’t heard of us, we’re a small brick-built lock up cabin on Chorley Covered Market, with eating for 40 people under a gazebo and a few inside the market. We specialise in hearty, wholesome food, made from local ingredients and operate in the most sustainable and ethical way we can. Along with our enthusiastic team, there are three of us, Mike (MrB), me (MrsB) and our daughter, Liberty, who is also a 2nd year Sports Science student at UCLAN.
We started the business four and a half years ago, but our story goes back further than that. Mike and I met in the eighties at Sheffield City Polytechnic, during fresher’s week, as new catering degree students. We’ve both worked in and around hospitality ever since, with Mike running large food pubs, which he gave up ten years ago.
Mike left the industry for a short to work in social care but, after eighteen months, was missing the cut and thrust of the kitchen, so we decided to set up a little kitchen table business, producing preserves, condiments and mixes to sell at farmers markets and events. We spent a few months producing stock to test out with our family and friends, and the launched on social media on New Years Day 2015, with the view to start trading from the following February.
Since we moved to Chorley in 1994, I’ve always shopped on the market for its unequalled range of great value and world class quality food. In late January 2015, I noticed that there was a unit vacant, which was unusual for this thriving market. I went home and pitched it to Mike that this might be a great opportunity for us to have a permanent base for The Bees, rather than moving about from market to market.
After submitting a 50-page business plan to the council and a lot of hard graft, we got the keys and opened at the beginning of April. Things were slow to start, as our concept was very different to anything else in the area but slowly and surely the business took off.
We’ve expanded in into outside catering, celebration cakes, pop up nights and wholesale over the years, as well as expanding the offer at our base to include a full menu for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, as well as a great range of food to enjoy at home, like our chilled meals and deli range.
We’ve been incredibly lucky in getting amazing customer feedback, which has resulted in success at multiple national awards, most notably, getting top three in the UK for street food at the BBC Food and Farming Awards last year. This year, we achieved top ten deli in the UK in The Farm Shop and Deli Awards and runner up for cheap eats in The Observer Food Magazine Awards.
So, next time you’re in sunny Chorley, please come and say Hi!
Make sure you go follow and support The Bees Country Kitchen’s socials and help them grow their amazing small business!
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Beescountrykit?s=17
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thebeescountrykitchen/
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