Elliotts Fine Foods

Elliotts Fine Foods

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Work and Family Life


Finn entertaining the crowds at Eumundi Markets


Whoa, here I thought I would be able to write a post a week, silly me. Where has the time gone?! We have been super busy, lots going on here at the Elliott house.


So it seems that quite a lot of people actually read my first post, maybe I was a little naïve to think that it would not be worth reading, thanks so much, was a bit taken back by the amazing comments and feedback I received, pat on the back for me!


I guess this blog is to tell you all a little about us, our background and our daily lives.  As I have said, the catering side of the business all started a little over two years ago, when Master Finn was about 2 weeks old. So I don't  really know anything different than being a working mum.  Those first six months were purely insane.  We had to buy a laptop so that I could work from the kitchen bench with bubs in a front pack, as that was the only way he got sleep with his reflux, while I returned emails, and did the accounts.  And there was a lot of food prep for functions done with my little buddy on the front of me, when things need to be done, you just do them right?!


The biggest positive that has come from the catering opposed to Pat still working in restaurants is that there has been a bit more flexibility, whether that is because we work for ourselves, or that our time is so unpredictable now. Obviously the hours are WAY longer, but if Pat is prepping for a wedding, or a large few days are coming up, and working long into the night, he can always just pop home to have dinner with us, or bath Finn and put him to bed.  And we always head down to the kitchen at least once a day even  if it is only for 5 minutes, so Pat and Finn have time together.


The biggest down side of catering, for a stress head, organised person that doesn't like change, is that every single day is different.  That may sound amazing for those that have no variety to their jobs, but makes it so  hard to plan anything, have days off, or just organise a week, because it always changes!  I think that I am only just getting my head around it now, two years on.  We tend to take the down time when we can, few hours here and there, if possible Mondays we try to make family time. But it only takes a phone call in the morning to completely change everything.


I have the beauty of doing 90% of my work from home, which as Finn gets older, gets harder and harder.  But it also means that I get to have more time with him, we work around each other, which sometimes means I work well into the night. It also means that Finn goes everywhere with me, to pick up suppilies, some meetings, and markets. He is the most adaptable little guy, charms everyone he meets!


For those of you that are regulars to Eumundi Markets, or that know us well, know that we have been doing Wednesday market days now for 3  years.  From when Finn was 2 weeks old through to about 1 year, Finn went to the markets with me.  We had a whole set up, the early days just pram, play mat and a few toys, which progressed to a portacot and jolly jumper  We had the most amazing people around to help, they would take him for walks in the pram while I set up, play with him when I was busy, or serve customers when Finn needed me.


Most of the work for our business is done by just Pat and I, only getting in people to help for large weddings and functions.  We have developed very clear roles, with Pat doing almost all of the cooking, me doing all the function coordinating and accounts, only stepping into the kitchen when he needs me, or we have specialised pastry orders come in, like celebration  cakes.  So many people ask us about what it is like for us working together, and how it works.  And quite honestly, we make a frickin awesome team.  Of course we clash at times, well quite a lot in the early days!  We were so focused on making everything so perfect, we would question each other.  But now we stay out of each others way, having complete faith in each other. And by having Pat in the kitchen and me out front, we have complete control over everything.  But get us both in the kitchen together and sometimes it gets a little heated, we both like our own methods  for cooking things, and after working and running kitchens for years separately, we both don't like being told what to do at all, especially by your husband, .... or wife!


Until only recently we have not had family around us, and while its our choice to live here, it gets hard sometimes juggling everything, but we are so lucky to have an amazing group of people around us that help out when we need.  Like the time the babysitter called in sick two hours before we left to cater a large wedding! Now that was stressful! Our friends always jump in to help, whether its with Finn or coming to a function to help.  That is how we are able to make family life work well with the world of hospitality.  While we may not have much family here, we have created a little Sunshine Coast family, you guys know who you are, we could not do it without you!


We have had a huge last mouth.  The relaunch of Profile Magazine, catering the Welcome Cocktail Party for Tough Mudder at Underwater World, Corporate catering, High Tea's, Bridal Showers, and celebration cakes.  And have also booked in most of April / May 2014 with Weddings.


So while I have good intentions to not leave it too long to next post, I guess that depends on how busy we are, and busy is good!


Till next time, thanks for reading.



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