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At Stories we use food as a tool for storytelling.

Be it a brand activation, a private dinner or a collection of recipes for social content, we strive to tell your stories, through our love of seasonal cooking and thoughtful hosting.

How did it all begin?

My love of food and hosting was sparked during my first job working at a cafe aged 14. From that point onwards I worked part time in cafes, right throughout my university years to support myself through education. After university I did a postgraduate diploma in journalism, to pursue my other life passion- writing, a passion I developed as soon as I could read and write, and assert that when I grew up I wanted to become an author, and tell people’s stories!

After having my first two children I decided to make a career change and explore my love of food, cooking and running events. I retrained as a professional chef at Leith’s school of food and wine and founded my own café. Since then I have been running supper clubs, private catering and working with brands to bring their stories to life through bespoke dining experiences. In addition to this I offer food styling, content creation and recipe development to brands and individuals for use across digital platforms. So Stories, is in sorts, a coming together of my two passions- food and storytelling.

What sets your business apart?

Every event, meal, gathering we curate has an element of storytelling running through it. I’m endlessly curious by nature and love to hear, share and tell people’s stories. Through the medium of food we devise ways to weave in storytelling elements (be it about the produce, the cooking style, the grower, the brand) as well as find unique and engaging ways to encourage our guests to share their stories with each other, across the table.

What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?

Providing bespoke, thoughtful, purpose-led catering for brands and individuals who are looking for more than just ‘a nice meal,’ but instead something which captures their personality and gives them an experience which is truly special and memorable.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

I would like to build up my network of contacts across creative industries as a known and recommended chef and event curator for unique dining branded experiences. I also have plans this year to set up a substack to act as a platform for my food writing and recipe development

Emily Crocker

Founder of

Stories

What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?

Creating storytelling events using food as a platform to connect, inspire and educate.

Share an example of early life that has shaped you?

I got my first job at the age of 14 in a local café and fell in love the whole atmosphere. I quickly realised how universal food is as a connector, and how it has this unique quality of punctuating big life events and forging special memories.

Highlights of your business journey so far?

Setting up my own café in my hometown of Leeds completely on my own, which has now become a successful franchise across Yorkshire. Gaining a distinction in my chef’s diploma at esteemed culinary school, Leiths. Getting to work with so many wonderful clients and bring their stories to life with completely bespoke food events.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

The biggest lesson I have learnt is the importance of switching off and creating boundaries with yourself, your work and your staff. Running a business and achieving your goals really is a marathon not a race, you can’t to it all.

Best piece of advice you have received?

Mistakes aren’t failures, they are simply an opportunity for growth and learning.

Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?

Surround yourself with people who lift you up and inspire you. Never stop learning. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?

Self-funded.

Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?

Learning how to manage a team of 10 staff at the age of 28 was a challenge and one that I didn’t always get right. Setting clear boundaries and focusing more on mutual respect not a desire to be liked was key in becoming a better leader.

At the start of the business I tried to do it all, which wasn’t realistic. Finding people you can trust and lean on is key. I am now able to recognise to identify my weaknesses and hire people that will strive in these areas to compliment my strengths.

Why is it important to support women-led business?

This deserves an entire page, but in a nutshell to address the gender imbalance across society and empower younger generations to follow in our footsteps to eradicate this imbalance.

60

Seconds

with

Emily Crocker

My inspiration is...

My future self.

My greatest fear is...

Failure.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...

Going back to school full time to retrain at the age of 35, with four children in tow .

Guilty pleasure?

Trash TV.

Mantra you live by?

Progress not perfection.

Female role model?

My dear friend (and business owner).

Women-led brand you love?

I’m a skincare junkie so would have to say Barbara Sturm.

Top productivity tool?

Screen time limits on my phone, good sleep, exercise, nourishing food and daily meditation.

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