Creative Cooking on the Family Business Road Trip


As part of Family Business United's 2015 tour of family businesses, Harrison Catering Services recently welcomed the Road Trip team to one of its London primary schools.

The team visited Kingswood Lower School where they experienced for themselves how Harrison engages with its youngest customers to educate them about nutrition and healthier eating by participating in a salad workshop for children in Year 3. The pupils had the opportunity to see, feel, smell and taste various ingredients and then create their own salads, which will be featured on the school menu. The Road Trip team then helped with lunch service and handed out stickers to the children who were trying something new—Harrison’s featured ingredient of the month: Jersey Royal potatoes.

Claire Aylward, Joint Managing Director of Harrison, explained the benefits of sessions like this: “Harrison was founded by my father on a set of solid fundamentals—family, respect, honesty, pride and exceptional performance—and each day these values are embodied in the actions of our staff. We are proud of our family and the difference that we make, working closely with schools to deliver a real experience, transforming fresh ingredients into home-cooked meals.”

“Harrison actively engages with the staff, pupils and parents in the schools in which we operate, and the Family Business United team saw first-hand how we help to educate, inform and share our values to create food that is genuinely tastier, healthier and better all round,” concluded Claire.

Paul Andrews, Founder and Managing Director of Family Business United, said: “Firms like Harrison, who are now in the hands of the second generation, make a difference to the lives of children across the UK every day, and it was a pleasure to see the enjoyment on the faces of the participants as they gained an insight into the different types of salad ingredients and also got to make their own salads. One seven year old participant was delighted with his Freddie Salad, comprising orange, spinach, beetroot, white cabbage, carrot, pomegranate seeds, mint, parsley and tomatoes!”

“Like many other successful family firms, Harrison recognise the need for evolution, continuing to develop the business in response to the needs of their customers, embracing the very nature of the family ownership to deliver a continually evolving offering, one that hopefully ensures the survival of the business for generations to come and creates a new generation of children who appreciate the benefits of fresh food and understand how food can be prepared from healthy ingredients and taste delicious at the same time.”

The innovative Road Trip to celebrate family businesses is well under way and with family businesses accounting for 3 million firms in the UK, providing 9.2 million jobs and generating £1.1 trillion turnover—almost 25% of UK GDP—the Family Business United tour of family businesses continues to mark the contribution they make to the UK economy.

The Family Business Road Trip is travelling across the country, bringing businesses together to share experience, network and address the challenges they face, as well as putting the sector on the map.

The 27 day tour launched in Leicestershire on 21 April, before heading south west to Devon and is pursuing a route that goes from coast to coast, finishing in Sussex on 28 May.

Family businesses are unique in that they keep history and tradition alive over hundreds of years, but are also one of the key cogs in the UK economy. The tour involves meeting with some of the UK’s most noteworthy family businesses, including Balsons—500 years old and the oldest direct lineage family firm in the UK—and Stewarts Garden Centre—creators of the first ever UK garden centre concept.

According to Andrews: “Innovative events such as this really do help to put great British family businesses on the map, those that are just starting out on their family business journeys and others that have been around for longer too.”

“We are looking forward once again to meeting with the faces behind some of the most noteworthy names in the sector. This is about seeing real people in real businesses doing what they do best, and raising the profile of the family business sector at the same time. It is also an opportunity for different firms to meet, share and build upon the experiences of others.”

Keep up to date with the rest of the Road Trip on twitter using #FBRoadTrip2015.

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