Following three stages of application from caterers, florists, production specialists and exhibition and walling suppliers, Somerset House can finally reveal the businesses on their Commercial Events’ accredited supplier list.
Commercial Director Jenny Freestone said: “this is our first tender in five years. We view our suppliers as an extension of our own team, and so we have been committed to accrediting a broad range of companies who reflect our values, whilst also delivering premium, bespoke services”.
Both large and small businesses who identify with the venue’s beliefs and working practices were invited to tender. Freestone continued: “In addition to providing excellence, creativity and flexibility, a commitment to diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and responsible event management were a crucial consideration throughout the process. As the home of cultural innovators, we actively support and develop talent, regardless of age, stage, or background.”
This is keenly reflected, for example, in the addition of Butch Salads, a small independent caterer seeking to break through into London’s unique venue supplier lists. Freestone added: “We also wanted to shine a spotlight on small suppliers and provide a platform to gain experience through collaboration, with the potential to become future industry leaders.”
Female led and LGBTQ+ owned, Butch Salads uses seasonal ingredients creating bespoke menus for each client event. Social Pantry is a proud leader in ex-offender employment, working with people who have spent time in prison since 2015. Other new caterers include Jimmy Garcia and Lettice Events, with retained caterers AP&Co., By Word of Mouth, Bubble, Clement Worrall, KERB, Moving Venue, Restaurant Associates and Zafferano. “We have also retained industry leaders who strive to develop and push for change,” Freestone remarked.
Retained production companies include Event Concept, Fisher Productions, Light Motif, Wise Productions, White Light and Storm, with new suppliers Rockit and Blue Elephant as a welcome addition. Florists Sage Flowers and Paul Thomas flowers have joined the list, whilst Lavender Green and Pinstripes & Peonies have been retained.
Velvet Living and Options Greathire will continue to provide furniture, and a new addition, Creative Output, pride themselves in being the market leader for sustainable furniture using cardboard furniture and plastic free print to reduce an event’s carbon footprint.
Entertainment agencies include Sternberg Clarke, Velvet Entertainment, Eight Ray Music and Euphonica. Exhibitions and walling will be provided by Aubreys and Stabilo. Freestone concluded: “Somerset House seeks to be an agent of change and we acknowledge how important it is to extend this into our commercial event offer. Whilst we understand we are not the only venue striving for change, we believe it is our responsibility to be industry leaders in this area.”
All suppliers pay the Living London Wage, many of whom are accredited, as is Somerset House. Contracts will run from March 2023 to March 2026.