It was 1992 when well-known Melbourne chef Andrew Blake launched his catering company, Blakes Feast, while still running his eponymous restaurant Blakes in Southgate.
In two decades, the family-run business has become one of the city’s top events caterers. But 2022 marks the end of an era – this will be Blakes Feasts’ last year.
In a statement, Blake said: “We are incredibly grateful to our wonderful clientele who have entrusted Blakes Feast to deliver their most memorable celebrations over the last 20 years. We look forward to continuing those relationships through Blakeaway.”
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Blakeaway is the side hustle the Blake family launched in 2020 during the first lockdown, when their bread and butter – events – was obliterated by the pandemic.
The topnotch ready-made meal service and grocer was a Covid success story.
It started as online-only before opening IRL in Portsea, followed by other locations in Brighton and Glen Iris, and a flagship in Armadale serving phenomenal chicken sandwiches (perhaps the jewel in Blakes Feast’s catering crown) and oven-ready dinners. A fifth is slated to open in South Yarra in September, so it’s safe to say it’s been a hit in the two years it’s been trading.
“Blakeaway’s success – in combination with an incredibly challenging few years in catering and events – has led to this logical next step in our business’ evolution,” Andrew said. “Staffing shortages have made it almost impossible to perform to the exacting standards that we set for Blakes Feast pre-Covid. Blakeaway’s track record to date and its future potential is what has justified this change in our direction.
“While a significant step for us, our reason for being will never change. We will still be producing food worth celebrating. Food and family will remain at the heart of what we do.”