Paul Parry was just 17-years-old and fresh out of school when he hopped on a bus to attend his first ever job interview with a company called C&C Catering Equipment.
He got the position and never looked back — so much so that last week marked the project director’s 30th anniversary with the Chester kitchen house.
Staff at the firm raised their glasses in honour of his remarkable service, with managing director Peter Kitchin paying tribute to his work ethic.
“He comes in early and goes off when the work is done, working weekends when required. If he has to be up early to see a client then he does it. He just gets on with it,” said Kitchin. “If you cut him in half, it would say C&C Catering Equipment Limited!”
Kitchin also credits Parry with bringing in many prestigious schemes for the company, including the £3.2m job at Café Royal — the largest project that C&C has ever delivered.
He has also recently worked on the Portcullis House project at the Palace of Westminster and is currently involved in the installation of new kitchens at Rolls Royce, BskyB and Ernst & Young.
Parry officially joined the business on 12 November 1984 and admits that he didn’t really know what he was getting himself into at the time.
“I had little idea what the job entailed other than general assistant and even less idea about catering equipment. I remember the early days well. We were a very small team back then with a fresh faced outlook on life. My role was diverse and never dull, ranging from sweeping up, lifting equipment up stairs, washing hire wares to serving clients in the showroom.”
Back in those days, C&C’s client base was mainly limited to the local area, but over the years that has changed considerably and it now serves names such as Google, Parliament, Fortnum & Mason and Harrods.
“I have so many fantastic memories of fitting kitchens in so many diverse places such as Lake Windermere, Aran and Rievaulx Abbey and culminating in some of the highest profile projects such as Café Royal and Nomura,” added Parry. “It’s been a pleasure seeing the small Chester firm which took me in winning top industry awards, too.”