For brides the morning of their wedding is spent getting ready, having their hair and makeup done while, maybe, enjoying some bubbles with their bridesmaids.
For bespoke caterers Connie & Cooper on the morning of an event or wedding you can find them in the kitchen early in the morning baking.
“You have to make the savoury items on the morning,” explains Connie Devlin, the Connie while Natasha Linstrem is the Cooper (it is her maiden name).
“And scones you have to have bake the same day so I will be up making more than a 100 for an event.”
The pair met while working for the same company in Brighton, when they were made redundant they decided to go into business together.
“It was something we had discussed when we worked together,” says Natasha.
“We had come up with the name and knew we wanted our own business. Then when we were made redundant the company was meant to do an event for Sussex University they got in touch with me the day before.
Connie added: “We just knew we had to do it, it felt like too good an opportunity to pass up on, but meant we had to buy equipment and logistics very quickly.”
The next event they catered for was Natasha’s wedding, and when people asked who Connie worked for she answered Connie & Cooper.
All the food is currently made by the pair in their Uckfield kitchen but they hire in staff for events.
“We don’t trust anyone else at the moment to cook,” laughs Natasha.
“The way someone interprets a recipe varies even between the two of us but we know the way we want it to look.”
Alongside weddings they can cater for wakes, birthday parties, festivals, corporate events and wholesale, creating items for a number of places in Brighton including HISBE.
“We are very busy over the summer until September so the wholesale keeps us busy all year,” explains Natasha.
“The bespoke wedding service we offer is good as it gives us something different to do while the wholesale is the same every week other than seasonal changes.”
The pair say that they work perfectly together.
“When a job comes in we naturally take the bits we want and it just happens very organically,” says Connie.
“There are some things we prefer doing and it goes from there.
“I knew I wanted to do my own business but to do it on your own is hard but to find someone to do it with is even harder, but when I met Tash I just thought ‘oh my god this could work’.”
And it has been since 2016.
August is their busiest month and on a weekend they can have up to three events on one day, but only ever one wedding.
“We will split up to do events,” explains Natasha, “I may be at the wedding while Connie does a canape reception for an event.
“We cover Sussex, Kent, London and Surrey.”
For weddings, the pair prefer people to get in touch at least four months before so they can meet a few times and do tastings.
Describing their style, Connie says it is classic but with a twist, be that shortbread in the shape of cats and dinosaurs to an afternoon tea wedding, or even a raspberry, coconut and lime Victoria sponge baked for the WI.
“I was quite nervous about that one but it got a round of applause,” smiles Natasha.
Creating bespoke menus the pair favour the more relaxed sharer boards and dessert tables, and love creating naked wedding cakes.
“We don’t do fondant,” says Connie. “I love the way they look and we decorate them with flowers, fruit, macaroons, and shortbread.
“People love having different flavours one we did had lemon and raspberry, chocolate and vanilla and a salted caramel.”
What is important to the pair is giving people what they envisioned.
“We want people to see it and go ‘wow’, you eat with your eyes first so we have a particular look we want to achieve,” says Connie.
“The thing I love the most is that reaction seeing people’s faces when they see what we have created for them.”
Connie & Cooper would like to offer etc magazine readers 10 per cent off their Afternoon Tea Weddings (our prices start at £21.50 per person).
• Quote ‘etc Valentines Offer’
• Valid for 2019 bookings that are confirmed by April 30 for a minimum of 40 guests.