Hampshire County Council Catering Services

30 years at HC3S

Take a trip though time and find out more about some of our longest-serving members of staff

30 years at HC3S

First known as ‘Hampshire Caterers' the service was formed in the summer of 1989, after the then Prime Minister’s introduction of ‘compulsive competitive tendering’. This basically meant removing catering services for the school meal service from Children Services.

Whilst the school meal service has been around since the 1860’s, HC3S is just a mere youngster. We are proud to have provided a dedicated service for pupils, parents and schools and have even expanded into catering for Hampshire residents and visitors to the county in its coffee shops and visitor attraction as well as offering workplace catering.

30 years is most certainly an achievement. We hope you will enjoy reading stories from staff and suppliers about the past and present.

  • Alison Dombrick - 9 years

    If you visited the New Forest and Hampshire Show this summer you may have seen Alison’s chocolate and spinach brownies, apple pie and gluten free sundried tomato and beetroot loaf.

    Read more of Alison's story

    Alison Dombrick

  • Angela Hunter – 24 years

    From what started as a temporary role in 1995 to her current Food Development role, Angela has been involved in many aspects of the organisation.

    Read more of Angela's story

    Angela Hunter

  • Food For Life Served Here - 20 months

    The Food For Life Served Here Award is an independent award scheme that recognises caterers that serve "local, fresh and honest food cooked by chefs who really care about quality ingredients.

    Read more about The Food for Life Served Here

    Soil Association logo

  • Food Service Cateys 2019

    Reflecting on the hard work and achievements of our teams since 1989, it’s clear that we are always ready for a challenge. Our teams will tell you their reward is the smile of each child’s face or a heartfelt thank you from our customers, however it is always an honour to be recognised by your peers and awarding bodies for our teams hard work and commitment.

    With that, here is our roll of honour, a list of individual and whole business achievements over the past 30 years.

    Read our Roll of Honour list

    Foodservice Cateys 2019 logo

  • HASCG, The Hyperactive Childrens Support Group - 14 years

    HC3S are proud to have been the first education caterer to gain the HASCG (The Hyperactive Children's Support Group) accreditation in 2005, when over 70 additives were removed from our primary school menus.

    Read more about The Hyperactive Childrens Support Group

    The Hyperactive Childrens Support Group logo

  • HC3S Anniversary Round Up - 30 years

    What an eventful 30 years it’s been for HC3S. From our first meals served in 1989 to our Cateys Award win as Education Caterer of the Year in 2019, our 30 stories are just a small snapshot of who we are.

    Read more about the HC3S Anniversary Round Up

    Thank you

  • Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Arboretum

    Since 2004, we have happily catered for over 2 million guests from day trippers and garden members to numerous distinguished visitors; HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, is Patron and was welcomed in 2013 to officially open the Centenary Border; Sir David Attenborough opened the Education Garden in 2007.

    Read more about catering at Hilliers

    Hilliers - 30 years food

  • Jenni

    We hear more from Jenni and why her kids love our nutritious school meals.

    Watch Jenni's video

    Jenni Moore

  • LACA, The School Food People - 30 Years

    LACA, the Lead Association in Educational Catering, like HC3S, are dedicated to ensuring children benefit from a healthy, tasty and nutritious lunch. Members of LACA include, not only local authority providers such as HC3S, but contracts caterers, kitchen and school staff, food manufactures and catering equipment providers.

    Read more about LACA, The School Food People

    LACA logo

  • Mel Blake

    Mel Blake HC3S’ Development Chef believes everybody should know how to cook, especially children.

    Read more of Mel's story

    Mel Blake

  • Rupert Bazeley-White – 15 years

    “My passion is being the people person, talking to the children and listening to their needs. It’s all about feeding the future’s future.”

    Read more of Rupert's story

    Rupert Bazeley-White

  • Vegetarians Choice – Vegetarian Sausage

    HC3S wanted to introduce a vegetarian sausage for school pupils in Hampshire. Find out how we did this and supported a local business: Vegetarian's Choice.

    Read more about Vegetarian's Choice

    Vegetarian's Choice logo

  • Mr Whiteheads Hampshire Apples

    We're celebrating Apple Day with Mr Whitehead's Drinks.

    Watch the Whiteheads video


  • Kathy Jenvey - 29 years

    Working for HC3S isn’t all about school catering. Kathy’s first role was sandwich maker and front of house assistant at the Hampshire County Council staff restaurant back in 1990.

    Read more of Kathy's story

    Kathy Jenvey

  • Steph Marucci - 5 years

    I’ve been working at HC3S for five years. I love working here because the people I work with are really lovely people.

    Read more of Steph's story

    Steph M

  • Allergens

    Every ingredient we use has been examined, every recipe has been evaluated, and where possible issues were identified, alternative ingredients were sourced. But it wasn’t almost this way.

    Read more about allergen management

    Allergies word cloud

  • Karen Clark - 20 years

    The globally renowned Great Hall of Winchester is a cultural blessing but a curse on the knees! I have catered for a wide range of events during my time, from corporate HCC events, weddings, charity auctions and film premieres, the majority of them set in the historic landscape that is that twelfth century hall. I have been fortunate to cater for many of the Royal Family, both on a large scale and at intimate venues. In 2013, I was rewarded for my commitment, as the Leader of the Council put me forward to attend the royal garden party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of my service to Hampshire County Council. It was a real honour that I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Read more of Karen's story

    Karen Clark

  • Red House Foods

    HC3S have been instrumental in our innovation process encouraging us to develop new products and ensuring that we meet, if not exceed, the needs of both the catering teams and the children eating our foods.

    Read more of Red House Food's story

    Red House Foods logo

  • Sue Martin - 15 years

    The most unusual piece of equipment that I have ordered is a golf buggy transformed into a mobile snack cart for Hilliers Visitors Centre.

    Read more of Sue's story

    Sue Martin

  • Fluffetts Good Egg

    Good eggs come from good chickens. Find out more about the healthy lives our hens lead to produce arguably the best free range eggs for our school meals.

    Watch the Fluffetts video

    A chicken from Fluffetts Farm

  • Nicky Pearson - 24 years

    “I recognise the face but not the name.” I'm not sure if this is quite what you want to hear when attending an interview at the infant school you attended nearly 20 years ago, but that’s what the headteacher said.

    I was attending an interview for the post of cook at Bedenham Primary School in 1996, my first post with Hampshire Caterers as it was then. What she remembered about me couldn’t have been all that bad as I got the job!

    Read more of Nicky's story

    Nicky Pearson

  • Kim Foster - 5 years

    I love my role because we get to see young children enjoying a meal. Getting to know them is also a huge part that I enjoy.

    Read more of Kim's story

    Kim Foster

  • Nicky Lewin

    From winning School Chef of the Year in 1999 to running her own business, Nicky has enjoyed working with HC3S over many years.

    Nicky has made a video in which she tells us about her career with HC3S.

    Watch Nikki's story

    Nicky Lewin

  • Sharon Slade - 29 years

    I started to work for ‘Hampshire Caterers’ as it was known, in 1990 when my daughter started school. My role was a data input clerk and I was employed as part of a job share as one of five processors who on regular basis entered 4000 invoices over a fortnightly period using 12-inch screens black in colour and green text! Think of all the hacker films of the late eighties, early nighties and you’ll get the picture!

    Read more of Sharon's story

    Sharon Slade

  • Dawn Butler - 26 years

    I have learned so much during my time at HC3S and they have always encouraged me to progress in my career, gain new experiences and skills to achieve my very best. I look back on my time with pride and joy because I have been able to contribute to the development of staff in their roles; communicating effectively with parents and headteachers but ultimately support future generations in having a healthy balanced diet.

    Read more of Dawn's story

    Dawn Butler

  • Joyce Honey - 28 years

    Joyce has worked at the same school for 28 years and seen many changes.

    Read more of Joyce's story

    Joyce Honey 
  • New Forest Ice Cream Co

    HC3S works with the New Forest Ice Cream Co to reduce sugar and to make packaging more sustainable. We have produced a video to show more about this innovative work.

    Watch the New Forest ice cream video

    Tubs of New Forest ice cream

  • Mandy Dodd - 30 years

    I just love cooking and seeing the smile on the children's faces when they have their dinners. It is so worthwhile and especially for children with special diets. I love children coming to me to get their dinners and enjoy the challenge of cooking for two schools and all the changes over the years.

    Read more of Mandy's story

    Mandy Dodd

  • Leanne Oliver Pulford

    Leanne Oliver Pulford, the best in show winner at the LACA Finishing Touches competition 2017 and then judge in 2018, really loves baking cakes and working with HC3S.

    Having trained as a chef in the Royal Navy after leaving school, she has always had a passion for cooking and baking, but more specifically, her interest in cake baking and decorating really developed after having her family.

    Read more of Leanne's story

    Leanne Oliver Pulford

  • Sally Willis

    When my youngest child started school, I looked for a job that would fit in with school timings, so I wrote to local schools that I could get to on my bike. I decided to visit each school in person to hand in my letter asking for a job in the kitchen.

    Read more of Sally's story

    Sally Willis