Sonia Mason - Director
Having 20 years’ experience working within the public sector and catering industry, Sonia's knowledge of the food industry is wide. Starting by working for several airline catering businesses covering stock control for in-flight duty free goods in and out bound, stock control for inbound cargo, revenue for two sister companies covering all aspects of a relief manager. Following that Sonia started working for a large Catering Wholesale Company as a Data Processing Clerk Sonia where she learnt the importance of order taking and time schedules. She moved on to telesales and then trained as a Sales Representative, helping to grow an area to its full potential, accumulating knowledge of food, its taste and quality and understanding the customer’s ‘Needs’, which included attending food seminars and obtaining achievement certificates in Sales.
Adapting to family life, Sonia also has 7 year’s experience working part-time for a family run ‘Fish & Chip Shop’ chain and assists in managing the day to day running of the business, including counter serving and liaising with customers, frying, keeping stock replenished, maintaining temperature control logs, checking on stock rotation/food management and quality control of sales all within the remit of the ‘Safer Food Better Business Diary’ in which a Five Star Rating was achieved. As the business also included a 'Gluten Free Day', many cleaning preparations took place to avoid cross contamination and special care was taken to ensure that no Products containing Gluten were present and equipment thoroughly cleaned.
Sonia has taken and passed Food Hygiene Certificates in Health and Safety for catering in Level 2, including Fire Regulations. Risk Assessment and Food Safety Essentials and has worked alongside the ‘Food Standard Agency’ guidelines achieving certification on ‘Food Allergies’. She has also completed the Advanced HACCP (Level 4) Management System, which has been put in place to ensure the business is run to a high standard.
In 2011, Sonia had the idea of 'Slightly Different Catering' which was a complete party catering service to include a Venue, Entertainer and Food Catering incuding food for those with allergies. After many months of research, Sonia contacted the local authority who thought it was a great idea and offered her use of any of their venues. After advertising, Sonia had so much feedback she realised it would be hard to cope, especially with family commitments, so the business was put on the shelf.
In 2014 Sonia found herself to be intolerant to certain foods and was eventually diagnosed with IBS. She did more extensive research into food allergies and discovered the Low FODMAP Diet. In 2015 along with her partner Steve (who has also been involved in catering for many years), they developed recipes, products and menus to suit a wide range of potential customers and to also suit the individual’s palette that are following Gluten, Wheat, Soya, Dairy or lactose Free Diets. Slightly Different Foods was born.
Brunton - Director
Sonia's Partner Steve has been involved in catering on and off for 45 years from winning a cookery competition at School to working at his grandparents Café as a teenager, being a Chef, managing several retail outlets, a Pizzeria Restaurant and owning two Snack Bars. Having a good friend who was Coeliac ( Gluten intolerant) and who found it very difficult to eat out at local restaurants and eateries, Steve was one of the first retailers in Brighton and Hove to stock and sell Gluten Free Pizza Bases back in 2005. (See Here)
After being interviewed for a local newspaper and a featured article, he found many customers enquiring about catering for other special dietary needs and that the range of allergies customers suffered was astounding. Gluten, Wheat, Dairy and Nut allergies were very common as well as Yeast, Shellfish and Histamine. Affordable ranges of quality food that reach a wide range of customers and cover many dietary needs have always been a part of Steve’s Catering Businesses and Steve’s Partner Sonia Mason has recently adopted the Low FODMAP Diet after being diagnosed with a digestive disorder. He has also followed the diet himself to experience the difficulties. With this experience, research and knowledge under their belts, offering easily available Products and Buffet Menus based on the Low FODMAP Diet is Steve and Sonia's Main objective.
Steve has a BSc Degree in Business and Information Management and is a Qualified I.T Lecturer. He also has achieved certification in Food Allergies and Health and Hygiene.
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