There was a time when someone being made redundant was a shock.
Since the recession many people know someone who has gone through.
And while it is a very scary thing, for many people it gives them the needed push to go out on their own and do the thing they always wanted to.
Connie Devlin and Natasha Linstrem started their bespoke catering company Connie & Cooper (Natasha’s maiden name) in 2016.
The pair met while working for the same company in Brighton, when they were made redundant they decided to go into business together.
“It was something we had discussed when we worked together,” said Natasha.
“We had come up with the name and knew we wanted our own business. Then when we were made redundant the company was meant to do an event for Sussex University they got in touch with me the day before.
Connie added: “We just knew we had to do it, it felt like too good an opportunity to pass up on, but meant we had to buy equipment and logistics very quickly.”
The next event they catered for was Natasha’s wedding, and when people asked who Connie worked for she answered Connie & Cooper.
The pair say that they work perfectly together.
“When a job comes in we naturally take the bits we want and it just happens very organically,” said Connie.
“There are some things we prefer doing and it goes from there.
“I knew I wanted to do my own business but to do it on your own is hard but to find someone to do it with is even harder, but when I met Tash I just thought ‘oh my god this could work’.”
For brides the morning of their wedding is spent getting ready, having their hair and makeup done while, maybe, enjoying some bubbles with their bridesmaids.
For Connie & Cooper on the morning of an event or wedding you can find them in the kitchen early in the morning baking.
“You have to make the savoury items on the morning,” explained Connie.
“And scones you have to have bake the same day so I will be up making more than a 100 for an event.”
All the food is currently made by the pair in their Uckfield kitchen but they hire in staff for events.
Alongside weddings they can cater for wakes, birthday parties, festivals, corporate events and wholesale, creating items for a number of places supplying wholesale we products to Hisbe and also The Mighty Seed which are both Brighton based.
Describing their style, Connie said it is ‘classic but with a twist’, be that shortbread in the shape of cats and dinosaurs to an afternoon tea wedding, or even a raspberry, coconut and lime Victoria sponge baked for the WI.
“I was quite nervous about that one but it got a round of applause,” smiled Natasha.
Creating bespoke menus the pair favour the more relaxed sharer boards and dessert tables, and love creating naked wedding cakes.
“We don’t do fondant,” said Connie. “I love the way they look and we decorate them with flowers, fruit, macaroons, and shortbread.
What is important to the pair is giving people what they envisioned.
“We want people to see it and go ‘wow’, you eat with your eyes first so we have a particular look we want to achieve,” said Connie.