COMPETITION, passion and carving a niche has proven the winning recipe for success for a couple from Bridport who swapped sales for food service six years ago.

Six years on and Sausage & Pear, a catering company in west Dorset run by Claire and Ross Moore, has been named the best wedding caterer in the country for happy couples.

Claire and Ross, who also own The Station Kitchen in West Bay, battled it out with hundreds of other caterers to be announced National Wedding Caterer of the Year at the Wedding Industry Awards held in London this month. The award followed on from winning the South West Category back in November.

Claire, the ‘pear in the partnership’, said: “We are so proud of this achievement and so proud of all our team who are incredibly passionate about everything they do.”

Sausage & Pear has catered for many high profile celebrities including The New Zealand All Blacks, Vivienne Westwood, Lenny Henry, Jeremy Irons, Olivia Coleman, David Tennant and David Haye to name a few.

The food is described by the husband and wife as rustic, hearty grub with a fine dining twist, with Ross adding they like to make sure customers ‘are well fed’ as well.

The achievement comes after a busy year for the pair who founded The Station Kitchen in West Bay, which has become a new celebrity hang out and already achieved huge success.

Claire said: “Our more recent venture has been The Station Kitchen, which we have transformed into a beautiful restaurant in high demand, securing a certificate of excellence on Tripadvisor and sitting at number 14 out of 2002 restaurants in Dorset – within our first year. This is such an achievement for us.

“The restaurant also has some celebrity regulars, however to protect them we can not release their names.”

On their success, Ross, the ‘sausage in the partnership’, said: “We have always been very competitive and passionate about the business and we both have a background in sales.

“We started catering about five years ago. We started out as a cake company and Claire would sell cakes on the stalls in Bridport and they’d always sell out. “So then we started supplying them wholesale because of the demand.”

He added: “We have found moving to Bridport there’s not much work here and so when you’re backed into a corner you come out fighting.

“We’ve hit a bit of a niche market in Dorset and have a great quirky venue. It’s always had potential but no one realised it.”

Until now that is. The couple recently added a First World War carriage to the restaurant that was used during The Battle of the Somme as a nursing carriage. But Sausage & Pear couldn’t have done it without a few helping hands.

Ross said: “We want to thank David, Nigel, Heidi, our executive head chef Jonny and his assistant Tyler. Also Oliver our general manager, Sue who is bloomin’ brilliant and Linda, my mum and general dogs body!

“We are just trying to get to the top and be the number one in Dorset.”

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