For catering work, nowhere else even comes close
Like many people, I grew up visiting National Trust properties and I remember walking round castles as a little boy thinking, ‘Wow, how do people get to work here?’ Well, I finally got my opportunity when I joined the Trust as an Assistant Catering Manager in 2009. I’ve worked in kitchens my whole life but I wanted to work somewhere that I’d be able to enjoy a good work-life balance and have some free time to spend with my family and friends. I love working with fresh produce and good quality food, so the National Trust was an ideal choice – and it’s exceeded my expectations.
Catering is a huge area of the National Trust; one which not only makes a vital financial contribution but also helps to make people’s days out that bit more special. Over the years, I’ve gone from Assistant Catering Manager to Catering Manager to Commercial Manager to my current role as a Food and Beverage Operations Manager. My career has absolutely flown and as well as taking on new roles and responsibilities, I’ve had the chance to work in some absolutely amazing properties – including the castle I visited as a little boy. The beauty of the Trust is that there’s such a diverse range of sites but every one is completely unique and has its own spirit. Part of the challenge of working in catering is bringing that spirit to life through food.
I love being able to make an impact on the future of the Trust and my role here is so diverse. The size and scale of the organisation makes it by far, the most interesting catering operation I’ve ever worked in. There’s always something exciting and different cropping up. My role involves a lot of collaboration – I develop high level relationships with suppliers, ensure the highest standards of food safety and work with other colleagues to make our food and beverage strategy as strong as possible. We have big, bold plans ahead and whether by producing fresh food every day or by using ingredients that are carefully produced on land in our care, we’re aiming to achieve things that a food business of our size has never done before.
The best thing about working in Catering at the National Trust? It’s hard to choose just one but its incredibly rewarding putting your efforts into something that’s worthwhile rather than just lining shareholders’ pockets. No matter how busy you are, you can never get too stressed when you’re working in such beautiful places with people who care about their work and the company’s vision. No other organisation I’ve worked in even comes close.
Seth Gulliver, Food and Beverage Development Manager (Operations)
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