How has a Northumberland caterer diversified her business during the Pandemic?

OVER one year ago, the hospitality sector had to close overnight, including firms involved in weddings and corporate events.

Northumberland business owner Clara Nicholl was one of them. When all the weddings and the events she was booked for were cancelled, she had to quickly think about an alternative to make sure she could still make a living out of her business. She now successfully teaches how to cook on Zoom.

Talking about her experience, she said: “A friend of mine kept ringing me asking me what to cook and how to cook it. And it started to dawn on me that people were at home all the time and they needed help. So I started the first Zoom class. We had curry nights, Greek nights and everybody was having fun. But my aim was to try to convince that anyone can cook. And everybody did.”

Since the beginning of lockdown, Ms Nicholl has organised many different classes in different countries, including Sweden, Norway and the United States.  She is now partnering with other local businesses that, like her, were primarily working in the wedding industry.

Over 95 per cent of weddings were postponed in 2020. But from May 17, 30 people will be finally allowed to attend an indoor ceremony. The British wedding industry contributes £14bn to the economy and supports over 400,000 jobs nationwide. Some businesses are still trying to survive reinventing themselves like Ms Nicholl, while hoping for a full reopening on June 21.

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