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Adam Pope, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Winner


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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.

Adam Pope, VIC (b. 1986)

Name: Adam Pope
Age: 24 (Born: November 1986)
Gender: Male
State: VIC

Adam Pope has fed relentless energy and quick decision-making into his five-year-old company, Fabulous Catering. A venture that started with $100 in the bank, it now employs more than 60 people and provides food for more than 60 functions a week.

Fabulous Catering grew out of a university project; Pope needed to start a business to advance to his third year. He cobbled together an event-management company. It was a bust, and he was stuck with all the equipment needed to run an event. Pope retrenched, using the leftover equipment to focus on catering. The company grew steadily, and he never went back to uni to finish his degree.

Fabulous Catering is based in Melbourne. A partnership with a Sydney catering company allowed Pope to expand service to that metropolis, along with Brisbane and Greelong. A separate relationship with a beverage caterer allows Fabulous to focus on the food and let someone else handle the beer and liquor.

Pope’s company specialises in finger food, buffet catering and spit roast catering. The food is delivered hot or cold, or served fully catered. The company handles corporate get-togethers, weddings, funerals and everything in between (as its website says, “no job is too big or too small.”)

It was tough going early on for Pope and the business. He was working a separate full-time job and putting an additional 80 hours a week into the catering venture, leaving three to four hours a day for sleep. When his girlfriend was retrenched, he asked her to work for him — for free. And bless her, she did, running the makeshift “office” at his home while he hit the road to market the business. Pope says sales doubled in one month, and within three months he was paying his girlfriend a full wage.

Since 2006, Fabulous Catering has filled more than 11,400 orders. Its biggest one-week output was 127 orders. In short, business is cookin’. And Pope hopes he’ll be able to turn down the heat a bit on his relentless drive to grow the company.

“I want to end up with a portfolio of businesses, and I just do the marketing for all of them,” he says. “Once I’m comfortable that they’re self-sustaining, and that I have people I trust in each one, I can then work when I want to work, not when I have to work.”

Anthill asks: Adam Pope, what’s your superpower?

“The ability to think lightning-fast. Others will slowly think of an answer, while I will act fast and think about the consequences later.”

Fabulous Catering promotion


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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.