Pioneering

About Us

* The Brookwood Story

Founded in 1996 by Kate Martin, Sue Parfett and the late Graham Sibthorp, Brookwood is recognised today as one of the UK’s leading independent schools' caterer. We currently supply 45,500 fresh meals each school day to over 90 independent schools.

Kate, Sue and Graham set out to pioneer much-needed change in school catering. They put chefs back into school kitchens and began offering a fresh food service with homemade, healthy meals that children want to eat. Over the years, their focus on people development has also helped people see the benefits and opportunities that come from working in a school catering environment.

Brookwood is recognised as an employer of choice and an Investor in People. We’ve been ranked four times in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For, our highest and most recent ranking being 2nd place. We were also the first schools' caterer to be awarded the top-level, three-star ‘Food Made Good Award’ by The Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Food Philosophy

Food Philosophy

* Supporting positive choices

Young people’s eating habits change as they grow and, in recent years, they have become increasingly discerning. They’re now exposed to a huge range of tastes and styles of food, at home and on the high street, and this influences their choices. Our services are tailored to meet their widening range of desires with healthy and nutritious meals that they want to eat.

Our Eating for Life initiative is a key part of our food philosophy, sending clear messages about the benefits of a balanced diet.

The principles of Eating for Life:

Food provenance

We can trace ingredients back to source and we cook all dishes on-site with fresh, sustainable produce, sourced locally wherever possible.

Cooking techniques

We bake and grill our food rather than deep-frying and we don't add salt in the cooking process.

Menu design

All our menus are packed with healthy, nutritious options for different ages and genders, and also for young people with allergies and special dietary requirements.

Education and environment

We educate pupils through a range of age-relevant and fun interactive initiatives, including Fisherman Finn, Professor Juice, Halt the Salt, Beat the Sugar Beet, Clever Calcium, Big Breakfast, Veggietastic, and meat-free days.

Planet Matters

Planet Matters

* Protecting the environment

We take active responsibility for reducing the impact we have on the environment and the Brookwood Planet Matters initiative is our contribution to making our planet a better place to live in.

Every Brookwood employee has pledged to go about their role in an environmentally sustainable way, and we recognise our individual and collective roles in being a greener business. In fact, many of our corporate social responsibility initiatives have been developed directly from employee feedback.

We work with each of our schools on a range of initiatives that engage pupils and staff with environmental issues. Many of these have helped us win industry awards, including becoming the first schools caterer to receive the top-level three-star ‘Food Made Good Award’ from The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). The SRA also recognised our commitment to social initiatives with the 2015 Award for Society. We achieved this award for our healthy eating initiatives and our community / employee engagement.

The three key areas of Planet Matters:

Environmental

We minimise food waste, use low-energy machinery and environmentally friendly products, and reduce food miles.

Sourcing

We use British products and seasonal fruit, promote and use Fairtrade products, serve only MSC-verified fish, and all our eggs are free-range.

Society

We’ve raised over £150,000 for our nominated charities: helping to build a school in rural Africa, providing several villages in India with access to clean water, giving disadvantaged young people a helping hand to find work and supporting a breakfast club at an inner-London school.