Food, glorious, fresh, local food

Published : Fri 30th Aug Author : Joanna Coppola

The thing that makes working for the National Trust different, and the thing that I admire most, is the fact that you can see exactly where the profits are going. As Catering Manager, it’s so very rewarding to know that my role, and the work of my department, helps generate the finances needed to support projects and improve the park for all our visitors to enjoy. Catering anywhere can be challenging at times but there’s no better satisfaction than the results of a job well done. Seeing customers leave with smiles on their faces and seeing the amazing changes in the park that we’ve made happen, makes all the hard work so worthwhile.

It’s my job to manage the whole catering team and volunteers across our Riverside Café, Stable Yard Café and Ice Cream Parlour at Morden Hall Park. You get plenty of training when you start and there’s a huge focus on excellent customer care and exceeding expectations, it’s something that’s hugely important to my team and I. Of course, there are challenges along the way, like any other catering role but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I mean, where else are you going to work in a tranquil oasis where your ‘office’ is full of beautiful blossom trees, wildlife and stunning nature?

You do get a real feeling of pride working here. I feel proud that we’ve achieved our Silver Award from the Soil Association which guarantees our menu is freshly prepared, seasonal, free from undesirable additives and better for animal welfare. We really care about what goes into all of our food. Our milk is organic, the tea and coffee is Rain Forest Alliance certified and our fish is Marine stewardship certified. I also love supporting local suppliers – all the bread we use for our sandwiches is freshly made every day by the local family-run bakers. I’m not just proud of the care that goes into our catering but what the National Trust stands for; proud to work for an organisation that is works so hard to preserve special places and make them accessible to everyone, forever.