Tony Beales, Beales Gourmet
"My course was vital in setting up my business"
I started at the college back in 1988 when I completed a two year diploma in professional catering. Since then I have been on a big adventure - my experiences and qualifications have given me the opportunity to work in some amazing places all over the world.
After finishing college, I went to London for three years and worked in places including the Carlton Tower, Harrods and with Anton Mosimann focusing on outdoor catering. But I didn’t stop there. After my time in London, I went travelling around the world, working in Australia, Taiwan, Canada, Austria and Switzerland.
My career then went down a different path when I ended up securing roles on private yachts in the South of France. After 10 years and travelling through places such as the Mediterranean and Caribbean, it was time time to return to the UK. It was in 2005 when I set up Beales Gourmet and since then we've grown to employ 25 full time staff and have up to 65 staff during the summer months.
We cater for all of the high profile wedding venues locally, but it’s been a long time building our reputation to get on those lists! Now, when you say Beales Gourmet, people know you have a trust worthy, high quality catering company that you can rely on. We’ve won almost 20 awards in the last 3 or 4 years, it really does show the team how good we are and rewards them for all their hard work.
My course was vital in setting up my business and being at the college was a major stepping stone in my career. I would say to everyone to consider going to college. Catering is now a high profile career, now more than ever and I would advise anyone to look into what it can do for you. Not everyone branches off and has their own business, but you can be just as successful as a Head Chef or Director Caterer. Don’t under estimate Bournemouth & Poole College for its catering, it’s an excellent college with a great reputation and I would encourage anyone to look into the courses there and see what it can do for you.