Cheltenham College - Oxford Brookes
London-based catering company Social Pantry aims to give its clients food that's fresh, delicious and beautiful. It's a mission that Founder and Head Chef Alex Head committed to early as she baked and sold cakes to friends, family and neighbors as a preteen. It was this same taste of early entrepreneurship that sparked Alex's passion and what started as baked goods and pocket change became the raw ingredients for a buzzworthy company at the forefront of sophisticated food and stunning events.
Pulling off stunning events centered around quality eats is something Alex finds infinitely rewarding. While the possible complications of bigger events can occasionally keep her up, Alex always takes great pride in knowing her hard work and passion for food brings satisfaction to her clients and success to herself.
Find what you enjoy, no matter how many changes it takes.
What inspired you to launch your own catering company?
From a young age, I've always loved cooking. I found it fun to cook little cakes and sell them for extra pocket money! It carried on from there.
What does your job involve on a daily basis, and what types of responsibilities do you have in your position?
My job involves a lot of organizing and lots of cooking. Every day we cook, create, taste and discover new recipes, as well as organize events across London, from menus to equipment to staff.
What is your favorite part of running your business?
Pulling off stunning events. The buzz is brilliant when the customers are enjoying the food and the kitchen is busy with action.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
The larger events! Any event with more than 300 guests and the night before, I'll be up checking off checklists in my head.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
I love food, so often my socializing bit involves having a dinner party at home. This is simple and easy for me being in the business. I know all the tricks of the trade for quick preparation, easy recipes and stylish entertaining. So I manage to relax with friends on a regular basis. I take days off pretty seriously though -- you need to have a clear head and be on the ball to stay on top.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I can't believe I have this job?" What was it?
When a wine supplier arrived with numerous bottles of fantastic wine that I got to taste all day! Followed by samples of chocolate, which all needed to be tasted, obviously.
What are some of the rules you live by?
1 / You only live once.
2 / We're all only human and we must learn from our mistakes.
3 / Everything is possible.
4 / We're never too experienced or too old to learn.
What qualities does one need to possess to be successful in your line of work?
Hard work. Perseverance. Learn from others and take something away from every experience, whether it's positive or negative.
Who has inspired you most in your life?
My gorgeous Mumma.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Work hard when you're young, as it will pay off. You have to enjoy your job, as it’s a massive part of your life. Find what you enjoy, no matter how many changes its takes, and work hard to get where you want to be. Again, everything is possible.