An Interview with Sarah at Bay Leaves Larder

Last week I caught up with Sarah Guilder from the amazing catering company Bay Leaves.  I had arranged to meet her and her team at the Bay Leaves Larder Coffee Shop and delicatessen in Chandlers Ford which she runs as well as her catering business.

I had met Sarah and her girls when we were shooting a wedding in Beaulieu and was bowled over by her dedication, hard work and professionalism; so much so that I really wanted to meet her again and find out more about what she did.

When I parked my car outside The Bay Leaves Larder I was astounded to find a much larger shop than I had envisaged and was inspired by the sheer magnitude of Sarah’s business and what she achieves alongside her catering business! 

On entering the shop I felt like I was in Aladdin’s cave with so much to see, and not just food!  I just couldn’t wait, not only to take photographs but taste some of the goodies on offer!

I was warmly greeted by Sarah and her daughter who was busy behind the deli counter! I was immediately offered coffee - well actually many variations of coffee – I settled for a latte!
Before long Sarah and Tracey (who works with Sarah) came and joined me at the table for a chat.  I had many questions to ask!

Q:  How long have you been a caterer and what made you start up Bay Leaves?
A:  I’ve been twenty-two years in catering but started Bay Leaves twelve years ago.  It was my Mum who encouraged me to go it alone!

Q:  Where did you find your inspiration?
A:   I just love food!

Q:  Have you got any tips for brides when planning their wedding breakfast?
A:  “Skip the starter and go for canapés instead, but not too many dips as remember all your guests have their best frocks and suits on! 
Weddings rarely run to time!  Brides should be aware of that and just relax.  Meet with your caterer as soon as you can to discuss what you envisage for your wedding breakfast and your caterer can help you with choices, knowing what is in season etc and what works well. 
Get advice on what you need if you are having a marquee ie: running water

Q:  Is there a current trend for brides?
A:  Cupcakes or a tiered cake of cheese!

Bayleaves Wedding Catering, Coffee Shop and Deli

Selection of yummy cakes
Delicious mars bar crispy cake

Mars Bar crispy cake up close and personal!  Definitely my favourite!
I would like to thank Sarah and her team for taking time out to talk to me about their successful business and also the customers who very kindly allowed me to take their photograph whilst they munched on their lunch!
By the way I couldn’t possibly leave without taking goodies of cake, olives and spicey nuts with me for later!  The mars bar crispy cake is to die for and I will definitely be going back for more!

Bay Leaves Larder  Bay Leaves Larder

Photographer:  Jan Taylor at Essential Images Photography