Sam Pullan, founder of Bear's Pantry
Alternative event caterers Bear’s Pantry has got a real taste for success and is marking five years of success by continuing to take a big bite out of the hospitality sector.
The business, which launched from founder Sam Pullan’s kitchen at home in summer 2014, is anticipating its most successful year to date following five years of trading and expects to hit turnover of £350,000 this year.
From its purpose built kitchen space at Sunnybank Mills in Farsley, Bear’s Pantry has this year opened Bear’s Den, a restaurant and bar based at Sunbridge Wells in Bradford. It has also launched a mobile beer and cocktails service, Craftbar, providing speciality beers and cocktails for events, weddings and parties.
Since launching in 2014, Bear’s Pantry has established itself as the alternative event and party specialist, serving up heart-warming, family-style food with a real difference, creating menus that often make the food more memorable than the event itself.
With a core team of seven staff plus an army of regular event staff on the books, founder and chef Sam Pullan is the proud leader of this pack. Sam said: “I’ve always been interested in and surrounded by great home cooked food, ever since I started cooking with my mum in the kitchen as a youngster. Even though catering wasn’t my chosen calling, Bears Pantry is the realisation of all that interest and passion for food.”
As a former business consultant who worked in the marketing industry for over 15 years, Sam is able to combine expert business acumen and commercial insight with unrivalled passion and a real eye for food design. And together with his talented team, Sam has very successfully been dishing up unforgettable feasts at events, weddings and corporate functions all around the region. Corporate clients include Gucci, The Body Shop, Coach and Grey Goose.
Just last month, Bear’s Pantry delivered an event for one of the world’s largest agricultural machine manufacturers. German-based company Amazone, which has chosen to set up its first UK base in Doncaster, selected Bear’s Pantry to handle its UK launch. The event saw Bear’s Pantry and Craftbar cater for 600 farmers in a field serving up authentic tastes of Germany with a Yorkshire twist. So impressed was the client that Sam and his team have already been booked for the next event in two years’ time.
Bear’s Pantry has also managed to carve out a real niche in the crowded event catering space and specialises in catering at challenging and unusual events in venues. In the past, these have ranged from castles and disused mills and barns to woodland, cowsheds and even exposed mountainsides.
Sam is also an advocate of locally sourced produce. As on day one of launching Bear’s Pantry, he still religiously makes a weekly trip to St James’s wholesale markets in Bradford to pick up the freshest and most unusual ingredients he can get his hands on. These ingredients are what make Bear’s Pantry food so memorable.
By the end of this summer, Bear’s Pantry will have catered for over 100 weddings, all requiring a bespoke theme, and is already working with clients on planning high impact Christmas functions and events.
Sam added: “It’s been a whirlwind five years and things are moving at lightning pace. We are evolving into much more than a catering business and increasingly clients are asking us to take more control of their event from inception to delivery. We’re creatively theming many events now but not in a conventional wedding or party planner way and then coming up with a food style to really enhance this, delivering maximum impact.
“I can’t wait to see what the next five years brings. Further investment and expansion with more staff, larger premises, more new ventures and diversification into the wider events arena, plus a real renaissance in the style of food that customers demand for their events. As more and more people think of themselves as foodies, we need to be leaps and bounds ahead. It’s all starting to happen right now and it tastes really good.”
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