News Opportunities

Catering Tender Opportunity – 100 High Street


We are seeking someone to work in partnership with The Stove Network to deliver an innovative catering enterprise in Dumfries Town Centre. The Stove is accessible public arts resource run by a group of artists who are delivering a high quality arts programme for the town and region. The Stove building is conceived as a flexible space that can change to accommodate a wide range of arts and creative activity.

The vision for the ground floor of The Stove is a welcoming and social space with a consistent catering offer that is open to a general public, participants/audience at arts events, creative businesses occupying the building. Many of The Stove Network’s events involve a catering element – for example we might want to provide a Tapas evening to accompany a dance performance. It is important that The Stove stays open past office hours for 2-3 nights per week in order to help boost the night time economy in Dumfries – we will be looking to work with the successful bidder to develop a food offer appropriate to these late opening periods and the operations of The Stove generally.

This is an exciting opportunity for the right person who is creative and forward thinking about food to be part of the Stove team in changing the town centre in Dumfries!


  • We have funding in place to fit out the catering equipment and décor for the catering operation, for the purposes of budgeting, assume £15,000 capital investment. Our creative team will work with you to develop the vision for the space and deliver this vision (within the budget we have available). In addition to this there is also a limited allowance in The Stove budget for tables, chairs, crockery and cutlery. NB all of the above investment will remain the property of The Stove Network Ltd.
  • We can offer half the ground floor space (35 square meters + an annual charge (rent/rates) of £6,000) for the bidder to develop as a flexible catering enterprise in partnership with The Stove Network. We are offering this on an ‘at cost’ basis in the first instance to allow the catering enterprise the best chance to grow imaginatively.
    • assist The Stove in catering for arts events, assume two per month,
    • accommodate flexibility over the occasional use of the ground floor for arts events etc.,
    • support and grow a wider vision for food as part of The Stove (e.g. working with community food growing projects, hosting pop-up events in partnership with other caterers etc.),
    • open past office hours for 2-3 nights per week in order to help boost the night time economy in Dumfries
  • There will be a rent review after 12 months which will take into account the success of the venture in all the areas listed above.


If you are interested in tendering for this opportunity please:
Send us an outline of your ideas for the venture. Tenders should include:

  • Outline Business Plan – covering at least the first two years of operations
  • Suggested food and drinks offer – daytime, evenings, and events catering – including suggested pricing and sample menu
  • Purchasing policies – including support for local food producers
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the current food offer in the town centre and how you would propose to compliment that
  • Management structure and approach to partnership working with The Stove Network
  • Approach to staffing, including training and development
  • Environmental and sustainability policy
  • CV and catering management experience

Selected applicants will be invited to an interview at which point we will discuss your ideas and areas of common interest with The Stove programme and its current activities. We will  then select one tenderer to work with The Stove Network on an intensive design exercise for this project. If this process is successful for both parties we will enter into a contract with the successful tenderer.


Deadline for submission of initial interest and vision for the café – Friday 24th July 2015 5pm.
Provisional café opening date – 4 months from submission of tender


If you would like to visit the café space and speak to someone at The Stove please contact
A report into the Stove Café (Stove vision, potential partners, possible ways of the café operating) prepared by creative consultants ‘Open Jar Collective’ is available here.