Food For Thought With Yellow Door

Apr 04 2024

We were delighted to be asked by the team at Larchfield Estate to contribute a piece for their blog.

We have had an association with the estate for very many years, probably since the family developed the property as a wedding and events venue around 2007, and we have watched the progression and development that Gavin and Sarah have spearheaded with much admiration.

Our own Yellow Door business, founded in 1993, has many facets. We have a café/deli market in Portadown, a bakery which produces fresh bread and patisserie 6 days per week, also supplying other restaurants, cafes and hotels, and a busy department for corporate catering, weddings and private events. Our business has evolved, and indeed is always evolving, taking into account trends in the food scape as well as the thoughts and aspirations of the directors of the Yellow Door.

One of the things we won’t compromise on is our food philosophy and the journey we are on to be the most sustainable version of ourselves that we can be. Cheap food invariably has a cost, whether that’s environmental or in terms of flavour or health. We see that in the retail marketplace all the time. Ultra processed food may appear to be convenient but has little to recommend it beyond that!

To that end, and with our talented team, we can make everything from scratch, from whole ingredients, in our own premises. We source the vast majority of our produce as locally as possible, notwithstanding the merits of olive oil, chocolate, lemons and limes, Serrano and Parma ham, Parmesan cheese and Halloumi, although with so much good charcuterie and excellent cheese available locally, increasingly these needs are met from home produce. Our suppliers and local producers are an asset to our business and as important as our customers and staff. Without great produce, it’s impossible to create memorable dishes.


For weddings in particular, memorable dishes can be the thing that makes the day exceptional for the happy couple. We have lots of suggested menus and dishes on our website, but with a talented team in the kitchen, most things are possible! For those who have still to decide, the question “What do you love to eat” or “What creates a food memory for you as a couple or as a family” is a great place to start. In the past me have created:

  • A Black Russian frappe as a pre dessert, as this was the bride’s favourite cocktail.
  • Italian brand car launch – pasta cookery masterclass with tasting dishes, Frangelico ice cream, and Limoncello gelato.
  • Rice and peas for the wedding of a couple where one half was of West Indian heritage. The family flew the bride’s mother over from London to show us how to do it right. There was a lot of pressure that day!!
  • Lamb shank pie – the groom loved lamb shank and the bride wanted pub food, so we developed whole lamb shank pies and everyone was happy.
  • A seafood restaurant owner who’s drinks reception included a seafood table with crab cocktails, lobster, shellfish, langoustines, salt and chilli squid and mini fish and chips.
Custom seafood table

Innovation is important, embracing new ideas, and meeting and exceeding the hopes, desires and brief of our customers, whatever the event. Increasingly we are asked to cater with more plant based vegetarian and vegan dishes. Sometimes it’s the whole menu or one or two courses.

We love vegetables, grains and pulses and use lots of herbs, many of which are homegrown in our own kitchen garden; so from early spring to almost Christmas we can harvest all kinds of soft and hardy herbs, as well as edible flowers, other fruit and vegetables and top fruit from our own orchard.

Yellow Door Herb garden

True sustainability though, goes beyond how and where we source ingredients.

In business, sustainability refers to doing business without negatively impacting the environment, community, or society as a whole.*

Over the last few years we have won 2 awards for sustainability – 2018 and 2020, and the process of entering those awards and analysing our business practices has made us question how we can do some things better. We commissioned and have completed our Scope 1, 2 and 3 reports, and now we do have a pathway towards net zero. Hopefully we will have exciting news to share very soon!!

There are details of our suppliers and producers on our website, as well as our environmental policy and practices.

Visit Sustainable Catering | Sustainably Sourced Food, NI & Ireland (

What Is Sustainability in Business? | HBS Online