|Actor John Thomson visits Mango Rays|
Recently named as one of the top five places to meet at Manchester Christmas Markets, Mango Rays is already proving why it won the title. Serving over 7,000 festive cocktails on Saturday 15th November, their first full day, Owner Penny Bailey couldn’t be more delighted.
“What a brilliant start” said Penny. “It has been non-stop already, with our Prosecco cocktails proving the firm favourite so far. Our staff team are up for the challenge and we hope people carry on popping down to join us.”
Falling into catering at the tender age of 14, northern girl Penny never dreamed that one day she would be the owner of her own successful catering business that would grace the country’s most popular events. Is she happy with her accidental career path?
“I love it!” smiled Penny. “With Mango Rays we are constantly reinventing ourselves to keep things interesting. My brain never stops and that is the way I like it. We are running two busy venues in at Albert Square and Exchange Square at the Manchester Christmas Markets now, but we are already thinking ahead to next year and what we can do to top this year.”
Mango Rays started as an experiment while Penny was juggling 2 other businesses that had taken a down turn and caring for 3 young children. It wasn’t an easy time, but Penny said “I could see it was what I wanted to do, so hard work, long hours, blood sweat and tears were worth it.”
With support from Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Manchester City council Penny has made Mango Rays a firm favourite at local events, while also building a celebrity following at festivals like Glastonbury. “We had Katy Perry’s drummer buy one of our ‘Barking Bad’ t-shirts at Glastonbury this year and we had a Barking Bad flag flying performances of Blondie, Jack Bugg and Dolly Parton all televised on TV which was just great” said Penny.
Mango Rays ‘Wishing Trees’ were officially opened on Manchester Christmas Market by local celebrity John Thomson this weekend where visitors will be invited to pay £1 to add their Christmas wish to the trees in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support and helping to sponsor and orphanage in Kenya.
“Charity is very important to us” explained Penny. “I think one of the best things about building a successful business is the opportunity to give back. We have supported both of these charities for a number of years and are hoping to raise as much as we can this Christmas.”
John said of the brilliant business owner “ Penny is your typically kind Northerner - what you’d call an entrepreneurial philanthropist”.
Now receiving support from social enterprise The Women’s Organisation to further develop her network and business growth strategy Penny is positive about the future of her business and is hoping this year’s Manchester Christmas Market will be the icing on the cake of a brilliantly successful 2014.