Katie and Andrew first found a love for cooking and catering during their travels around New Zealand. Remaining abroad for some time while Andrew found work in various kitchen roles and established a passion for the industry.
Upon returning to the UK, Katie managed to convince Andrew to relocate up North to her Hartlepool hometown, while he began a course in professional cookery and found restaurant-work. The couple soon found a demanding schedule of anything between fifty and seventy working hours a week wasn’t an ideal fit for family life.
Instead, they decided to set up a small catering business from home, providing fresh homemade scones to the original owners of The Copper Kettle. Until one day – “out of the blue” – when Katie was asked if she knew anyone who was interested in buying the business, herself and Andrew said “us!”. Together with Katie’s mum, auntie and every family member they could incorporate, their Copper Kettle opened in June 2018 and they haven’t looked back since. Calling The Copper Kettle their second little home, it’s all about work-life balance for Katie and Andrew: “we wanted to build a business around still being able to spend time as a family.”
A born and bred Hartlepudlian, it was never Katie’s intention to move home and settle back into the town, but “after being around and travelling all over” she came to the realisation that Hartlepool is “actually a great place to live and with so much potential on its doorstep”. Through operating both as a sit-in bistro and an adaptable takeaway service, The Copper Kettle has managed to connect with the town by way of providing delicious food and great service, where regulars have quickly come to be friends of the business, as is the nature of a town such as this.
Katie and Andrew feel very lucky for their strong customer base and for the new customers they’ve been able to reach through the pandemic. Social media, Katie told Love Hartlepool, is one way The Copper Kettle has managed to keep in touch with it’s visitors and to remain as though they’re still part of the town’s life, despite a difficult twelve months in and out of lockdown for everyone. One thing that has brought joy throughout the pandemic, is the ability to make their customer’s weekends that little bit brighter simply by providing them with a Sunday dinner or a Brunch Munch Box.
Looking to the future, Katie and Andrew have stopped predicting what’s going to happen next; for now, they’re very much happy with the way The Copper Kettle works for them, prioritising their family first and their business a close second. Through lockdown, they’ve learnt a lot of valuable lessons and are very much looking forward to returning back to normality in the future.