AFTER working in the corporate world, then in fashion, Laura and Jess Sharp began seeking a change.
The answer came in the form of their life-long passion.
Celebrating with food.
“We just love food,” Laura says.
“As little kids, if we weren’t cooking it or eating it, we were talking about food.”
After spending the majority of the past decade both working for an engineering company in Western Australia and also establishing successful fashion brand Matters Speaking, the Newcastle-born, Port Stephens-raised sisters launched catering business, Sharp + Co Platters, in September 2017.
With a focus on supplying gourmet platters and grazing tables for everything from weddings and baby showers to birthdays and corporate events, the sisters’ talent for creating beautifully-styled food has already seen the business grow beyond their expectations.
They are expanding their team to meet with demand and have been picked to cater for two major events, including the launch of The Station (at the former Newcastle train station site) on September 29.
Sharp + Co is the exclusive caterer for the launch and Jess describes it as their “biggest moment” as they are set to prepare three grazing tables - including a huge four metre-long table - to greet the crowd at the event which is open to the public.
“It will be in theme to The Station, so that 1920s homage to the era of when it was built but done in a modern luxe way,” Jess says. “I think the public are going to be blown away with what they see and experience on the night.
“We feel really honoured to be a part of it.”
Creating food for celebrations is exactly what led to the conception of Sharp + Co Platters.
The pair has a large extended family, so gatherings are always big and memorable.
“The happiest we are is when we’re with the people that we love and eating,” Jess says with a laugh.
“We love it. That’s where our love for it [catering] came about and that’s something we’ve always loved to do together, so to be able to do that for other people, but still together, is special.”
Each grazing table is created using fresh artisan produce including premium cheese, cured meats, antipasto and savoury accompaniments, fresh bread and seasonal fruit, with the addition of greenery and flowers to achieve that Instagram-perfect look.
“Each graze is specifically for the person or the occasion and we put a lot of thought and time not into just the food and what we select, but also how we put it together,” Jess says.
In addition to the grazing tables, Sharp + Co offers a range of grazing platters or platter boxes: breakfast (yoghurt pots, fruit, pastries), cheese (with extras such as dips, olives, quince paste), savoury (biscuits, dips, lavash bread, dried fruit), fruit (in-season fruit), sweet (fresh treats), baguette rolls or wraps (choice of fillings), salads (Caesar, Greek, rocket, pear, parmesan and walnut or spinach fig, prosciutto, feta and pine nut) or canapes (15 choices, such as rare roast beef, horseradish creme and rocket crostini or avocado, lime and tomato savoury tarts) - any can also be added to grazing tables.
The boxes are made fresh in their kitchen and delivered to the event, while the grazing tables are set up upon arrival.
Catering for events in Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley, they operate seven days a week and require 24 hours notice for platter boxes and one week for grazing tables.
“To be able to create memories with food for people is something we are so grateful for and for them to choose us to be a part of their celebrations is something we see as an honour,” Laura says.
“Making people happy with food makes us happy.”