FEEDING the vulnerable, the homeless and frontline workers, are still priorities for top chef Paul Lavery who has been nominated by scores of people for Trader of the Week.
“It was more about doing what we could to support those most vulnerable,” said Paul, who launched the Winton based Sunday Roast Deliveries alongside his catering company in 2015.
With restaurants and pubs shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic, much of Paul’s business was “wiped out” overnight.
Using the crisis to help the most vulnerable, Paul began delivering breakfasts and homemade pies along with fruit, vegetable and cheese hampers plus meat boxes and trays of eggs.
“The pandemic was a very scary time,” said Paul. “We knew there was going to be a lot of people who could no longer go food shopping. We set up at low cost simply to cover costs and staff wages. It was more about doing what we could to support those most vulnerable.”
During lockdown Paul gave four free roast dinners each week for people who were feeling low or who had gone that extra mile to help others.
When Paul launched Sunday Roast Delivery it was to generate extra income to help the community and employ more staff.
And during lockdown, Paul opened a second site in Poole to expand delivery, which now reaches Verwood and Upton.
Paul said: “Our business went from strength to strength in lockdown. Opening the site in Poole enabled us to take on more staff and help them financially. We cook between 250 and 300 roast dinners a week and our alcohol licence is a great addition to our product range.”
And of course, Paul loves a good quality roast dinner. “When I used to run my own pubs I always had good feedback for my roast dinners. Alongside this I have always been interested in charity work and figured Sunday Roast Dinners would be a great vehicle to generate extra income for my local community.
“We do a lot of work with the homeless and serve a three course dinner each year for about 40 homeless people in Bournemouth and collect for the food bank.”
Vegetarians, vegans and people with food allergies are all catered for and NHS staff and all emergency services receive a 10 per cent discount.
Paul added: “It may sound cheesy, but they really are the best customers you could ever wish for. We are like a little family.”