Hunter Valley’s premier destination wedding venue, Redleaf Wollombi has completed the search for a new long-term catering partner, having found the perfect fit with authentic Italian catering company, Pepi’s.
Following the recent growth of the Redleaf Wollombi business and the rising demand for destination wedding venues, the iconic country escape was prompted to take on a permanent catering partner, committing to a five-year contract that commences January 2025.
Redleaf’s call-out was well received by the hospitality community, with 13 businesses interested in the opportunity and nine written proposals submitted.
The candidates were then narrowed down to three finalists, who were tasked to host a full-service tasting experience for the Redleaf team before the final decision was made.
Founder and Director of Pepi’s, Giuseppe (Joe) Tarzia, had his own journey with Redleaf, having his wedding at the venue in 2021, which he said was a several-day spectacle unlike anything his guests had experienced before.
The wedding led to Joe’s admiration for the venue and desire to grow his business further into the wedding space – not knowing then he would years later have this opportunity.
Pepi’s sources its inspiration from the warm memories of grand European-style weddings experienced by Joe in his youth, while working at wedding receptions across Sydney.
This convergence of Italian-style hospitality, blended with the culinary ingenuities of native-Italian Executive Chef Alessandro Morabito, has resulted in a one-of-a-kind and highly sought-after culinary experience.
As a growing business with ongoing expansion plans, Pepi’s was enthusiastic about the partnership opportunity with Redleaf.
Joe explained that having a wealth of experience working with leading wedding planners in Sydney and delivering bespoke gastronomic delights from their dedicated production kitchen, allowed the catering business to put forward a strong proposal that would increase the output and service potential of Redleaf while ensuring the quality and authenticity of its services remain uncompromised.
“Having worked with other wedding service providers previously, nothing felt as mutually aligned as the partnership with Redleaf Wollombi,” Joe said.
“From the style to the setup, it’s the perfect ‘marry up’ of two authentic European-inspired businesses, bringing to Australia something you can’t find on this side of the world.”
Owner of Redleaf Wollombi, Matthew Low said while Redleaf is well-known for providing an unforgettable high-end European-inspired getaway experience, Pepi’s demonstrated that they stood prepared to work closely with wedding planners and coordinators to enhance the Redleaf experience even further by offering their true reflection of traditional Italian hospitality, with genuine culinary traditions and unrivalled food.
“We were quite blown away by Pepi’s from day one of the selection process,” Matthew said.
“Along with the super-high quality of the food and service, as well as their impressive forward planning for both businesses to merge seamlessly, we really loved that our passions aligned when it comes to providing guests with an elevated experience that still feels like a family dinner.”
While deeply rooted in the Italian tradition, Pepi’s is much like Redleaf in their desire to provide a superior service for their guests, which means ensuring a flexible approach to meet the expectations of the clients.
Under the new contract, Pepi’s is prepared to adapt their menu and work with other suppliers to provide food services outside their culinary offering.
Along with the promise of exceptional event service, the Redleaf and Pepi’s partnership also promises an exciting sustainable future, aimed at reducing the businesses’ environmental footprint while promoting local food culture and heritage.
The union also brings about great rewards for the community as they intend to collaborate locally, extending employment opportunities to those in the Wollombi community.
By prioritising sourcing ingredients from local farmers, food artisans, wineries and suppliers from the Wollombi/Hunter Valley region, Pepi’s ensures both the freshness and authenticity of their food, while positively supporting local economies.
Food wastage is also reduced with a comprehensive waste management strategy that includes composting or donating the food waste generated from events to local farmers and/or charities, such as OzHarvest.
Joe explained that further opportunities will also be offered to those interested in the culinary arts, through internships and training programs.
“We are excited about the conversion of our two unique businesses into one united brand and are committed to a steadfast approach in enhancing the already high standards of the Redleaf experience,” Joe said.
“Through our authentic Italian cuisine, dedication to unparalleled service and our shared vision of creating unforgettable moments in the picturesque venue, we are confident that weddings and events at Redleaf will be even bigger and better.”