- Sector: Wholesale
- Region: West Midlands
Cooking up a storm
Aspens Services is a privately owned company that provides catering services to schools and colleges. Established in 2008, the company has grown fast and employs over 2,500 people.
“We believe that the key to our success is changing the mindset of the people in our kitchens,” says Ben Wood, Chief Operations Officer. “The whole culture of food has changed – children eat out at the weekends and expect to receive the same quality of food at school.”
To meet these expectations, Aspens Services’ chefs are often recruited from restaurants and hotels, bringing with them culinary skills that complement the company’s menus. “We keep abreast of food trends and are proud to offer family favourites, international flavours and the latest dishes inspired by the high street,” says Edward Wright, Head of Food. “Our range of seasonal and nutritious dishes are cooked on-site, using British-sourced ingredients.”
Listening to customers has been key to the company’s success. “The company’s growth has been achieved through understanding the market and our customers’ needs,” says Jamie Wickett, Head of Procurement, adding that the company is looking to offer more vegan and low-sugar dessert options.
The fast-growing focus on the environment by young people is something Aspens Services is keen to support, working alongside schools to reduce the use of plastic bottles, packaging and disposables. “Generation Z pupils are passionate about energy, single-use plastics and waste,” explains John Roe, Chief Executive Officer.
Aspens Services is also working with young people through The Academy. Launched in 2019, this apprenticeship programme offers learning opportunities to develop the business leaders of the future.