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Pony + Sid

There’s nothing quite like pulling up a deckchair by the seaside, popping a bottle of bubbly and tucking in to a delicious feast. Anyone else think it tastes even better if you haven’t had to lift a finger? One local catering biz that consistently records high levels on the taste gauge is Pony + Sid.

Eliza McClellandIn 2016, at just 22, Eliza McClelland took the plunge and started her own catering company. Five years on, her little kitchen in Winnellie has won a loyal following, pumping out tasty tucker to delight Top End tastebuds on the daily.

Inspired to create a space in which she could work to the beat of her own drum, Eliza opened the doors to offer food lovers an exciting new culinary experience.

“I was living in Byron for a few years and worked for a really beautiful catering company … but moved back to Darwin when my dad got sick. I tried really hard to get out of hospitality, I even went to Africa for a little while, but I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do – I just tried doing so many different things,” she says.

“Then my sister was just kind of like ‘you need to try and do your own thing, see how it goes, what have you got to lose?’. I never wanted it to be too big or successful, I just wanted to do something I enjoyed. But it’s definitely grown bigger than I thought it ever would.”

And boy, oh boy, are we glad she gave it a crack. Starting out as an empty shed, the Pony + Sid warehouse was transformed thanks to support from family, friends and Eliza’s partner – recently fiancé – Adam.

“Adam did all of the plumbing and we had a great team on deck to fit out the space. A friend built the mezzanine, and Adam and I did all of the sheeting – we literally put the walls up. And I have such an amazing team, I just love them to bits – we’re all really there for each other!”

Suffice to say the hard yakka was worth it.

Since then, the tight-knit Pony + Sid team has lovingly dished up take home meals throughout the week, ingredients sourced locally when possible. With a selection of meals also available at Parap Fine Foods, it’s the hearty homemade classics hungry folk seem to be craving.

“We try to keep the menu fresh and update it regularly, but we also try to keep our customer favourites. Our top sellers are things like lasagne and shepherd's pie – all the pies are really popular – it’s things that the kids can eat, too, I think.”

Also featuring on the menu is curated charcuterie platters (one of this magazine’s editors faves!), breakfast boxes, canapés and baked sweets, including celebration cakes. Corporate catering and special events, like birthdays, is also an option, but the biz is stepping away from weddings to focus on curated culinary experiences, one of the reasons Eliza first opened her doors.

“We ran out of time this Dry to put on some of our special food events, like the Sunday Social lunches at The Trader Bar, so I’m keen to start that up again next year,” she says.

“I’ve got so many ideas, but then the Dry gets so busy and you run out of time. I’m hoping to bring some exciting foodie events to the table in 2022!”

You can bet we’ll be watching this space, and saving some room in our tums.


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