From Pompey cafe to canteen dishing up meals to Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie

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THEY’VE gone from serving fry-ups in a cheery cafe to preparing meals for the Portsmouth-based sailing team going for America’s Cup glory.

Business partners Nicky Moore and Amanda Marfelli landed the dream job after Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie moved his cup headquarters to the city– and his team needed nutritious hot dinners to get them through an intense training and racing schedule.

At the time, Nicky and Amanda were concerned about the future of their Spinnaker Cafe business as tenants of the fish market on Camber Quay were transferred to their building as part of the Land Rover BAR redevelopment.

But Nicky and Amanda were then approached to run a canteen for site staff.

Under the banner of Camber Catering, the initiative took off and saw them go on to land a bigger role feeding Sir Ben and his squad.

While Nicky and Amanda say ‘it’s not easy’ meeting their ‘specific needs and demands’, they have no regrets about seizing the opportunity.

...there are more things happening all the time, we did a Christmas Party for the team member’s families. It’s all very exciting.

Nicky Moore

The team has a food charter, which means that the goal is to source all ingredients from within 25 miles.

Since those early days when they first learned of the changes on Camber Quay, the pair have grown their business significantly.

‘We’ve gained an extra six or seven members of staff, compared to the original four people in the cafe,’ said Nicky.

‘And there are more things happening all the time. We did a Christmas party for the team members’ families. It’s all very exciting.’

BAR’s head of strength and conditioning Ben Williams, with the support of one of the team’s base suppliers, has helped to devise the Camber Catering menus.

Explaining the strategy, Ben said: ‘It’s a food-first approach, getting as many vitamin and mineral-rich foods into the athletes’ diet before turning to supplements.

‘Each week, the nutrition plan is tailored to balance the training and sailing programme and the demands it will make on their bodies. The goal is to ensure that the sailors take on enough lean proteins, good fats and a blend of complex and simple carbohydrates to fuel their training and promote health and well-being.’