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The brilliance behind Bursaria | Owner Sara O’Callaghan

Running a successful business for 14 years is no easy task, but Sara O’Callaghan of Bursaria Fine Foods has accomplished this with seemingly effortless style and grace, navigating through all the challenges and changes in the hospitality and event industry with proficient agility – cementing her status as an entrepreneur at the top of her game.

From a young age, Sara loved good food and dreamt of travel; and quickly learned that through the hospitality industry, she could successfully pursue her two loves. Starting work within luxury hotels and restaurants, Sara began to travel the world – fulfilling her passion of combining travel and cooking. The following 10 years provided challenges and opportunities which Sara leapt at with her renowned enthusiasm and vigor – providing her with a holistic overview of the catering industry, and the confidence to develop her business skills. Working full time and studying at night, Sara started to write a business plan and in 2005, the hard work, passion and commitment paid off, and her company Bursaria Fine Foods was launched.

Sara started Bursaria Fine Foods with the vision of creating a boutique catering company with a simple philosophy: use the freshest seasonal produce to make unique, delicious food concepts with love and care.

Commencing operations within Como House in Melbourne, Sara fell in love with heritage style venues, and her business has since expanded to add a few more gorgeous historic buildings to its portfolio – taking over the unique and dreamy Rosina Function Space and Courtyard at The Abbotsford Convent in 2011; and in 2015 launching The Refectory, Werribee Park. The Refectory is a beautiful light-filled event space with classic architectural features, spectacular high ceilings, designer lighting and luxury contemporary furnishings; and just like Abbotsford Convent, every wedding and event there is lovingly catered by Bursaria where Sara and her team create unforgettable culinary experiences and deliver exceptional service. Aside from these two venues, Bursaria also offers offsite catering for any event or celebration you can think of!

Appreciating the importance of quality food and truly understanding how it brings people together and creates a shared experience, is one of Sara’s natural talents. She encourages her team to be authentic and creative; focusing on wholesome, flavour packed, fuss free dishes. She wants to take guests on a food journey throughout the event and enable them to gather and interact in a relaxed environment – her love and passion for her craft is evident on every plate.

Far from her humble beginnings back in 2005, Sara is kept super busy these days with her role of Director – meaning she is responsible for managing each of the six departments within the company. The role is varied – from setting budgets for the Sales Department; collaborating with the Head Chef on seasonal menus; to working with the Marketing Team for major events; and overseeing all day to day operations with the intention of driving Bursaria in the right direction. Sara is a true visionary and welcomes new and exciting business opportunities – paving the way for further success and growth.

On top of all this, Sara manages to balance out her work life with an even busier household. With a loving husband and happy children at home, nothing makes her more content than gathering her family together with good food and laughter at the end of the day, or escaping for a weekend getaway to create new memories with her tribe. She really is a woman who has it all!

Sara believes one of her greatest attributes is the ability to tell a great story and create a ‘vision’ that is infectious – leaving clients, staff and friends wanting to know, and experience more. Communication is key within hospitality and Sara has the knack of being able to engage, excite, motivate and inspire; with simply her imagination, creativity and strong voice.

It’s evident that Sara loves what she does, and is truly living out her passion – combining her skill and love for catering; hosting hundreds of weddings a year and establishing an award-winning service that provides a beginning to end experience and wows guests at every event. Her hard work and dedication has ensured her company boasts a sterling reputation, and her brand continues to grow and be successful. It’s so refreshing to see such a humble, passionate female conquering her chosen industry, and being a mentor and role model to other young women in hospitality.

There will always be something that people need to celebrate with family, friends and food; and this is the bottom line of why Sara does what she does – at the end of the day she simply thrives on making amazing experiences – diligently working behind the scenes to create memories for each and every one of her clients and guests.  Her undeniable passion, love and joy for fabulous food, means your next event is in no safer hands, than with Sara O’Callaghan and her team at Bursaria Fine Foods.