Cooking up a storm!

Date: 04/07/2024

Catering Team Leader Steph shares her plans for the future for the team and service, and celebrates some five-star news.

Steph has been responsible for running the Catering Services across our over 55s independent living villages for the last two months, after previously supporting the team as Cook.

Since her time in post, she’s been keen to make improvements to the service based on your feedback. We caught up to find out a little more about her, along with her plans for the future.

“I started my career as a Kitchen Assistant”, said Steph.

“There I was taught how to cook along with some best practices too.”

“I discovered quite quickly that I really enjoyed cooking and I loved the satisfaction it gave me, knowing I’d created something that looked and tasted great.”

Steph took a break from catering to open her own business just across the road from West End Village in Stoke, but when an opportunity to get back to her passion and support her community came up, it was too good to miss.

“I set my business up with an amazing team of staff who go above and beyond each day to run it. It meant I could step back and gave me an opportunity to do more of the things I loved again like cooking.

“When I heard Staffs Housing were hiring for catering staff, I thought it was a perfect opportunity for me to get back into my passion, support my local community, while keeping busy too.

“Initially I started out as a Cook supporting the team, but I was quickly able to put my business and catering experience to good use to make some needed changes for the service.

“Then in March I was promoted to Team Leader to help drive all of the catering teams across the three sites.”

Steph is keen to make sure any changes she now makes, is driven from customer feedback.

“These aren’t just restaurants, but they’re key community pillars in people’s homes”, explained Steph.

“When we look at making any changes therefore, they need to be driven by customer feedback, to ensure the service is representative of their needs.

“I keep my eyes and ears close to the ground and actively seek out customer feedback. Recently, the team and I have been trialling new meals and menus, so we can explore what works or what people would like to see more of.

“I’ve also been told that residents want a reliable service that’s open throughout the week. As a direct result we’re currently recruiting staff to help make that happen.

“I’m really excited for the future. I just ask residents to bear with us as we make some key changes and set up the new teams. Although there may be some disruption in the interim, I believe it will be worth it in the long-term, and that we’ll be able to truly deliver on longer opening hours and a more reliable service.”

Steph shares that the team also recently had some FIVE-STAR news.

“Over the last couple of months, our catering teams have worked hard to achieve an amazing five-star hygiene rating at Bradeley, West End, and Rowan Village”, said Steph.

“Keeping high standards in a kitchen is an ongoing and essential part of the job and I’d like to thank everyone for going above and beyond to make it happen.

“It’s so important that we maintain a high-standard service that residents love and trust. It’s a great achievement and I’m so proud of everyone involved.”

Want to find out more about our over 55s independent living villages? Visit

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