Long-running Canterbury catering company Continental Catering Group has a new owner and is already making significant changes. David Cartwright has sold the bakery café business in Rangiora, the original home of the Continental Catering Group which has since expanded to encompass five different divisions.

Cartwright bought a half-share in the business last year from Canterbury hospitality icons Joan and David Ward, before taking full ownership of the business in July. Food has always been a part of his life.

"Food and catering has been in my veins from a very early age,” he said. “In fact, my sisters often remind me I baked my first cake when I was four years old."

Cartwright trained as a chef in the Navy before his career took him to the ParkRoyal Hotel and the Canterbury Club, where we went from being head chef to general manager.

"We have had some challenges, for sure, but these aren't going to stop us,” he said. “The hospitality environment in Canterbury is very competitive with new restaurants opening across the city almost on a weekly basis. Continental's advantage remains being flexible, our ability to travel and look after our clients in their homes, or different function venues, and marquees across Canterbury."