New caterer brings exciting food options for baseball and softball users
Tue 14 Mar 2017
During the 2016 season, Farnham Park had its first dedicated catering, with rather mixed success. But for 2017, a new caterer who is part of the softball and baseball community will provide a range of exciting food options in a new clubhouse dedicated entirely to the sports.
Sara Daughtrey, who grew up near Farnham Park and has an extensive catering background in the UK and abroad, will be operating the Home Plate Bar and Kitchen from BSUK’s new Home Plate clubhouse, which will open later in March. Sara will also provide a mobile unit and even bicycle deliveries to far-flung pitches during larger baseball or softball events during the summer.
Sara has played softball in the Windsor & Maidenhead League, the Greater London Softball Mixed League and the GB Fastpitch League, so her menus have been designed with inside knowledge of what the baseball and softball community wants in the way of food and drink.
“I want to create a unique place at the Home Plate Bar and Kitchen,” Sara said, “where customers can socialise in a warm, comfortable and relaxing environment that operates as the fun and friendly centre-point for everyone who uses Farnham Park.”
BSUK CEO John Boyd said: “This is our clubhouse, dedicated to the players and fans of our sports. Using it will not only help to make the site financially sustainable but will provide a return to British baseball and softball as a whole.”
Sara Daughtrey has developed three separate menus that will come on stream during the early part of the season.
The “Leadoff Menu”, for those who want breakfast on site, will feature bacon, sausage or egg rolls, bagels with cream cheese (to which bacon or smoked salmon can be added), porridge with honey and banana, croissants and pain au chocolats, Greek yogurt with a fruit base and granola, fresh fruit and fresh orange juice.
The lunch menu will include a homemade soup and roll, homemade quiches and pasta bakes, filled jacket potatoes, a range of interesting salads, and portions of chips.
Meanwhile, a separate baseball and softball-themed burger menu will present a choice of large gourmet burgers with a range of toppings, including bacon, stilton or cheddar cheese, aioli, relish, avocado and BBQ sauce. There will also be a vegetarian burger called The Fielder’s Choice, served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, avocado and tarragon mustard mayonnaise.
Apart from the food served during game days, the Home Plate Bar and Kitchen is planning to offer evening meals that teams can book in advance, served in the garden behind the clubhouse. There will also be Happy Hours with pizza and special deals on pitchers of beer (the clubhouse will have beer on tap), plus live music on Saturday evenings.
Sara is also planning food-specific evenings such as a Mexican Night, and there will be Friday night quizzes, Beer Pong evenings and similar special events.
The lounge at the Home Plate Bar and Kitchen will eventually have a TV, and Sara is hoping to organise parties around sporting events such as the World Series and the Super Bowl.
Even the coffee will be good, made on a proper café coffee machine, and BSUK owes thanks to Hawksmoor Restaurants and Major League Baseball for providing items to help furnish the kitchen and the clubhouse lounge area.
Like any new venture, the Home Plate Bar and Kitchen will need a period of trial and error to get the catering offer to baseball and softball right. This process will begin with at least a limited food menu available to the first two events of the season at Farnham Park – the BSUK Spring National University Baseball Championship on 18-19 March and the Spring National University Softball Championship the following weekend.
Once the catering for baseball and softball is running well, Sara Daughtrey plans to fill out her operation by catering for companies on the nearby Slough Trading Estate and, during the off-season, delivering American-themed meals to households in the local area, direct from the clubhouse at Farnham Park.
After ending its arrangement with Jamie’s, a local Slough caterer who provided food at the site last season, BSUK was looking for a new caterer for 2017 and put this out to competitive tender.
BSUK Joint CEO John Boyd, who knew Sara Daughtrey through softball, and knew that she was involved in catering and hospitality, asked if she might be able to help out temporarily on site while a new caterer was found.
Sara thought about this – and then the penny dropped: “Why can’t I do it?” So she put together a comprehensive tender document that won over a number of other submissions.
Sara said: “Opening up the Home Plate Bar and Kitchen at Farnham Park combines everything I love – food and cooking, baseball and softball, organising events – and in a place where I grew up. What could be better?”