Tuesday, 09 March 2021

Catering events manager comes home to do it alone

Catering events manager comes home to do it alone

A MAN has started his own business hiring out tents after being made redundant due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Harry Saunders, 22, of Blounts Court Road, Peppard Common, lost his job as a catering event manager for Wild Thyme, a bespoke events company in Crieff, Scotland, in June last year.

He came home and launched Husk Marquees supplying cruck tents, which are a mix of traditional marquees and tipis, for events.

Mr Saunders, who attended Gillotts School and The Henley College, said the business had been a silver lining in the cloud of the pandemic.

He said: “At the start of the first lockdown, Wild Thyme had a lot of events starting to be cancelled or rescheduled and shortly afterwards we were all put on furlough.

“There was little communication during this time and at the end of June, out of the blue, they let us know we were being made redundant. It was a bit of a shock but I could kind of see it coming as from a business point of view they weren’t making any money.

“I had already moved back in with my parents at that point but I did have to travel back to Scotland to move things out of my house.

“Straight away I looked into new ideas — life works in strange ways and it was a leap of faith really.”

Mr Saunders bought the tents from a manufacturer, believing the business would take off with his experience in catering for events and weddings. “It was scary but I’m quite young and I didn’t have too much to lose so I was happy to take the risk,” he said.

“I understood there wouldn’t be much happening until spring but I had launched everything by the first week of October and the response I’ve had so far has been really good.

“I’ve been inundated with enquiries, which is encouraging. I am going to have a launch at the end of March or April — it’ll be a showcase for the product.”

He added: “Last year was horrible but for me it was really good. It forced me into looking at other ways to make a living.”

To contact Mr Saunders, call (01491) 739027 or email getintouch@huskmarquees.co.uk

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