Nursery goes into catering

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A Shropshire-based nursery owner who was unhappy with the food supplied to her settings has set up her own catering business and provides meals for eight nurseries.

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Elizabeth Smith-Keitley, owner of Club 0-5, a 113-place setting in Telford, and Club 0-14, a 68-place nursery and out-of-school club in Shrewsbury, and her husband Paul Keitley-Fletcher set up Chefs2go after buying the Telford setting three years ago.

The couple use ingredients from a commercial company but source good quality ingredients locally. The nutritious meals are designed specifically for the 0-five age group. They are created by taking recipes from around the world and modifying them to suit the age group, taking into account the fat, salt, sugar, protein and vitamin content.

Chefs2go also offers consultancy services to both chains and individual nurseries that have kitchens and staff but are looking for guidance.

Mr Keitley-Fletcher said, 'Before we set up Chefs2go, our food was supplied by a commercial company. It was mainly processed and not very healthy. However, when my wife bought the setting in Telford, it had a much bigger kitchen and she decided she wanted to give the children better quality food.

'We started off by sourcing food from local markets and by going to Tesco three times a week. Now, as we supply food to ten nurseries in all, we buy some of the ingredients from a commercial company, and we also buy some good quality produce locally.

'We make one main meal a day but with five or six variations, to cater for children who have special dietary requirements, such as nut allergies or lactose intolerance. We find that making more or less the same food for all of the children stops anyone from feeling left out. We get a lot of compliments from parents on the quality of our food.'

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