TOP Saddleworth catering company Manns Wharf is throwing a celebration of its own as they celebrate 20 years of serving up culinary delights for customers.
John Stevenson, who lives in Greenfield, has been running the popular business with his wife Jeannette since they launched in November 1997.
They started off by hosting small themed nights at Friezland Church Hall and since then they have flourished to catering for up to 400 people at functions country-wide.
John reflected: “We started with pop-up evenings and themed nights at Friezland Church Hall, just using things I saw at the market.
“Our first theme was ‘Midsummer Madness’ and we had a full Christmas dinner, without the sprouts, in June!
“Then we had a different theme each month, including Thai, French and Mexican, and I even bought CDs with music from the countries for each theme.”
As their popularity grew, John left his managing job at an old people’s home to launch the catering business full-time.
They revamped their home kitchen to make it suitable for cooking on a large scale, and Jeanette soon left her job at Robert Scotts in Greenfield to help out.
John added: “Cooking is something I have always been interested in. I was involved with the cooking at the home where I worked and brought in choice menus for them.
“After the themed events, we just grew and grew and started working full time from home.
“About six years ago we needed even more space so we got a unit in Mossley with larger kitchens and storage.”
The unit, on Waggon Road, also boasts a lounge area which is stylishly set up to show customers the kind of table presentation Manns Wharf can provide.
The caterers now accommodate events of all sizes from intimate birthdays, weddings, funerals and Christmas parties, to larger, former functions for Mayors and the Bishop of Manchester.
They use fresh, local ingredients and prepare all the food themselves to customers’ requirements.
John said: “Everything we do is personal. We pride ourselves on working with our customers to find out exactly what they want.
“I love it when we do a wedding then get invited back to do the christening, and then birthdays, and we grow close to the family”
He added: “We’re so pleased to reach 20 years and thank you to everyone who has supported us.
“But we have been that busy we haven’t had time to plan anything to celebrate!”
Visit Manns Wharf at Unit C20, Centre Court, Waggon Road, Mossley, OL5 9HL or call: 01457 834424. Find out more and see their menu online: mannswharf.co.uk