Rick H and Nick Howe
00:02 My name is Rick H and I’m managing director of a division of Baxter Storey Limited.
00:07 And my name’s Nick Howe, I’m managing director of Holroyd Howe Independent Limited.
00:11 Well the start of our time together is back in the late eighties when we worked together for one of the national contract caterers of that era and then subsequently ten years later we formed Holroyd Howe Limited and ran that for ten years before joining Baxter Storey 2007.
00:33 My interest in catering really kicked off as I, just before I went into, left to go into college in the late seventies. I’d had various summer jobs, working in pubs and hotels and restaurants and enjoyed it very much, whilst actually repeating some of my A levels, which I hadn’t got first time but that’s where the, the, the fire was, if you like, kindled.
00:56 The story goes that I used to sit on the boiler next to the cooker, where my mother used to cook and I fell in love with cooking at that, at that point in time. So really from a very early age, probably from ten, eleven years old, catering was my chosen career.
01:14 The last two or three years of my school, school life, I did start to think about what I was going to do and as I was growing up I thought actually I might go into the police force, I thought that might be quite a practical thing for me, but it, but it, it died away once I started doing some weekend and holiday jobs. I think I really just wanted to make sure I had something that was practical, and involved people.
01:35 My father’s job was administrative orientated and, and latterly he was deputy chairman of Cambridge University, so very much an academic, as were frankly all of my brothers, who all got firsts in, in, at university and several O and A levels, and I, from an academic point of view was well down the chutes actually. I got six O levels and one A level second time round.
02:00 And my very first lecture was a management lecture and the lecturer came into the room and said, right, hands up anybody who thinks they’re going to make any money in this business and there was a good seventy per cent of the business, of the class put their hand up and said well, you know, and he, he said, well think again, it’s one of the lowest paid industries that there is. And that had an influence on me and I thought well, it may be for some people, but it won’t be for me. I said to Nick, well one day I’ll set up and run my own show and I’ll never forget it because he turned to me quite sharply and said, well if you do, don’t forget me and that was ten years prior to us actually setting up.
02:41 I felt there was a really good balance there in terms of the, the strengths and weaknesses of each of us.
02:45 We resigned out posts, we didn’t have any customers cos clearly we were under restrictions there, contractual restrictions but we did have people that were interested in, in our thinking and that we thought might come along with us and it was, it was proved to be the case, that one client did say, well look, I’d quite like to place my business with you as your first contract.
03:06 We were confident the market was strong enough, we were confident in our own abilities and that, I think that that pushed us on and enthused us.
03:15 The best thing that ever happened to me without question was stepping across the threshold and setting up my own business.
03:22 The opportunities are phenomenal, there’s, there’s no question about that. our sector here continues to grow, the leisure industry, at large, continues to grow at a rapid pace and anybody who has an appetite pardon the pun, for working within our business, and applies themselves can fast-track to the top very, very quickly indeed. I just consider myself lucky to be a pretty good caterer, to have a partner who’s also a very good caterer and we made a success of it.