A platter business that was launched in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic has defied all odds and gone from strength-to-strength in the past year, with the owner securing larger premises to meet demand.
Jenny Whyte founded Grazey Days in June 2020, starting out delivering afternoon teas, breakfast platters and cheese boards to customers doors in the middle of lockdown.
Fast forward 16 months, the 37-year-old has now found herself catering for weddings, funerals and large birthday parties.
As the success of her business continues to rise, Jenny, who has always worked in hospitality, has been forced to rethink where she operates not once, but twice.
As a result she has invested £20,000 in a new unit which is 53 square metres and is based on Shore Street in Inverness.
This additional space allow her to increase productivity by around 25%.
‘I went on a mission’
After launching Grazey Days, Jenny operated from her kitchen for four months before finding sub-let premises at Redshank Catering, in Smithon.
“The idea only came to mind about one week before the business launched,” Jenny said.
“I think hospitality is in your blood and you either love it or hate it – there’s no in-between.
“I couldn’t keep up with the demand working from home, so I moved into Redshank almost a year to the day and I’ll be operating here until Sunday, October 31.
“As the months have gone on and having taken on two members of staff and a delivery driver, as crazy as it sounds, I found myself outgrowing their premises, too.
“I couldn’t take on any more orders as I just didn’t have the prep space to do it, so I went on a mission to find my own unit so I could expand even more.
“I needed to move in order to expand, but finding my own unit has not been easy.”
Jenny registered with a line-up of local estate agents and made weekly calls in order to get the ball rolling and find her new unit.
However, this proved “useless from the get-go” and she decided to take matters into her own hands.
“I felt I was constantly being let down,” she continued.
“Not one estate agent ever returned my calls. It was soul-destroying.
“So I took it upon myself to drive around the industrial estates at night time on the off chance there was a private let I didn’t know about. I saw a random sign one evening saying ‘unit to let’ and the rest is history.”
Jenny aims to begin operating from the new unit, which she has a five-year lease for, as of Saturday October 30, depending on how far along the work involved in installing the kitchen is.
And she also plans to introduce a takeaway service, too, so customers can collect their platters from the unit itself.
Jenny said: “My business has to move in order to get bigger.
“It’s exciting to be opening up another branch of Grazey Days to focus on takeaways, but very nerve-wracking at the same time.
“I also have a third member of staff coming on the books at the end of this month, which is exciting.”