Percivals The Caterers

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About Us


Percivals is a family run company founded in Bolton in 1939 offering event catering and wedding catering services to the Lancashire, Cheshire & Manchester areas. For over 70 years we have provided first class catering at venues throughout the North West, establishing us as one of the region's leading caterers. Operated by the current management team for over 30 years and now in the 4th generation of the very same family, we have an unrivalled depth of experience in event & wedding catering, and are renowned for our consistently high level of professionalism and adaptability.
Based in modern, purpose built premises, our menus offer traditional home cooked food with contemporary influences and use only the best quality ingredients, locally sourced wherever possible. Our dedicated butcher is less than a mile away from us, and supplies us with meat and dairy from local farms in and around Lancashire. Our fishmonger is committed to providing us with the best of the catch from well managed and sustainable fisheries, and our trusted fruit and vegetable supplier ensures that, where possible, we use only the best quality produce from across Britain thus avoiding air-freight. We're proud to support local producers and quality of our cooking reflects the use of quality, fresh produce. All our food is prepared with the utmost care and attention and a top Food Standards Agency rating of five out of five ensures that our methods conform with the highest levels of food hygiene.
As a company our ethos is quite simple - good food and good service. Indeed these are the core foundations that were inherent to Percivals when it was first established in 1939, and the foundations which have seen us operate as a successful family run business for well over 70 years. We are committed to maintaining our reputation as one of the leading event caterers in the North West, and can cater for any number of guests, from 10 to 5,000. We are renowned for our flexible approach, understanding that every detail of your event is important, and as such any of our menus can be tailored to suit bespoke requirements.

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A Brief History

Operated by the current management team for over 29 years and now in its 4th generation Percivals is a family run company founded in Bolton in 1939 by Ellis Clarke. The company began life as a café in the Market Hall, Knowsley Street under the watchful eye of Ellis' wife Ada together with her five children. Ever popular from the beginning, stories abound of the café serving a thousand meals a day during the war years, with long queues which tended to run out the door and down the street. The café became famous locally for its steak puddings and cheese pies and the Percivals name began to stick.
Following on from this early success, the operation quickly expanded to provide outside catering in the local region, and a restaurant, the Lamplighter, was opened by the family underneath the Market Hall. By the time the next generation of the Clarke family (twin brothers Alan and Donald) opened Smithills Coaching House restaurant in 1966, the brothers had also taken over responsibility for the running of Percivals. For many years the two companies ran alongside one another, with many a natural overlap between the two.
This remained so until 1984 when, having worked in the family business most of her life, Patricia May Harthern (née Clarke) along with her husband Barrie purchased the company from her brothers and formally established Percivals The Caterers as a completely separate entity.
Today Percivals continues to go from strength to strength as a family run business, managed by Patricia and Barrie's daughters Carol and Claire and more recently grandson Jack. As a family run affair, we operate with a close knit sphere of influence meaning that all family members are hands on with the day to day running of the company, thereby ensuring that our standards are maintained as being consistently high. Our family based principles and values form the foundations of our reputation, and saw Percivals named as a finalist in the Family Business of the Year category at the 2013 Bolton & Bury Business Awards.

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