Idelica was set up by Emma Lopez in 2010 with the intention of finding ways to bring this warm-hearted and decadent food culture from Almeria to people in the UK. Emma was born in Bournemouth, moved to London after University and worked in Publishing before becoming a Mum in 2005. After moving to be closer to her family again, she started the business in Sopley (Dorset) in the retail of Spanish fine foods and paella kits and meant to keep things small while her son Tom was at primary school.
The premises was moved twice since then along the Dorset/Hampshire border to Avon and finally to St Ives near Ringwood (Hampshire) in 2017. During that period, Idelica had branched into catering and developed an excellent reputation for big pan paellas at various local food festivals. Encouraged by Dad (Miguel) she introduced other Spanish dishes to the festival menu. In 2012 Idelica began to cater at the odd private party and then a wedding in 2013. Almost exclusively by word-of-mouth, demand for Private Catering has been increasing steadily since.
To keep up with demand, Emma’s fiancé Ian Roberts had started helping out at events in early 2019. Ian and Emma shared a strong feeling that Spanish cuisine lends itself perfectly to the many sharing-style and festival-feel types of catering that has become so popular among brides and grooms and other celebrants of events large and small in the UK.
Ian took the directorial reins in early 2020 – and galloped headlong into more chaos than anyone could ever have dreamt of. With the global shake-up that began with the March lockdown, we came to realise that it is important to focus on what (and who) you love, do what you can and appreciate what you have. We were forced to shelve our business plans for growth and joined the many other small local businesses that were working hard to stay afloat and navigate the ever-changing restrictions.