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Catering for a small group or business meeting

We get asked about catering options a lot – and we do offer catering for smaller groups and business meetings (ie – I don’t cater wedding receptions!!) We do have an open-door policy on food though – and our plan is to keep it that way! While you must buy all beverages on site – you can do whatever you’d like to for food! You can bring in your own, have it catered by a company, or talk to us for catering options. You have a ton of choices (we love choices!) so you can make it right for you!

My background has a lot of food service in it – from waitress, bartender, restaurant manager, to multiple kitchens director…food is FUN! Seriously though, one of my first managers had the philosophy that “I’ll never ask an employee to do something that I won’t do” --- and I have kept that philosophy as a driving force in my work. And, for kitchen work that has been awesome. I’ve tried it all!

I love to cook – always have! My family has been the guinea pigs on so many recipes and learning to tweak a recipe here or there to get the result we want! I think that loving to cook just makes a difference on how you put together a menu and I have used that as I plan catering for smaller groups. It should be fun, unique and make you (and your tummy!!) smile! To this end – we use different recipes often and talk to the organizer to see what their vision is, if they have favorites, and how we can incorporate them with some things they maybe haven’t thought about.

Of course, we have some standard items that we use often! They are crowd favorites and compliment a variety of meals. But often they are the supporting cast. The main meals and desserts change all the time – taking advantage of seasonal ingredients, holiday “seasons”, and even the weather! (You know what I’m talking about, right – there are days that simply REQUIRE a hearty soup or chili!)

We also consider several factors like how many people, time constraints, if it is a working lunch, budget, and type of attendee. Yep, I said it. The type of attendee matters! A women’s club looks for something very different than and agricultural workers meeting. They both want yummy and specific to their group – but I can play with the menu and offer them something that makes them smile!

That philosophy has one distinctive challenge though. Lack of a traditional catering menu is something we’ve talked about – and I’ve started to compile one only to scrap it more times that I would like to admit! But, I stand by a couple of truths that just put a hinderance on making a standard menu:

  • We aren’t traditional OR standard. We celebrate making each event specific to you. And, as food is something that people look forward to – that should be a reflection of your vision.

  • We aren’t a one trick pony. If you want it…I can *probably* make it…and if I can’t/won’t…it is generally something that I think someone else can do for you 100% better – and I will encourage you to go through them! For real! If you are looking for a perfect prime rib for your group – I’m not your gal – but I can tell you who to contact! 😉 We also partner with others to provide those specialty items…and then I make the rest of the things!

  • We personally love a lot of homestyle meals – and for a lot of groups, our catering is when they just get a taste of “home.” My favorite moment is when a group is coming in, sniffs and says, “oh man it smells good – what are we having?!?”

  • We make a lot of adjustments based on the number of people that you are having, the budget per person that you want to stay within, the type of attendee, and how you want it to feel!

  • We know that dessert is a big deal. For some of our bigger holiday caterings I spend almost as much time on the desserts and the rest of the meal combined. I can also tell you that is often the spot where you can offer a variety that makes everyone happy!

So, all that to say, we’d love to help you with your event catering. Whether that is working up a menu with you that fits your needs…or helping you to talk through what you think you want to do…we love to chat food!

**and one little housekeeping note --- I’m sure you are all aware of the prices of food going up. It is a very real thing. Something that your caterers need to keep in mind and adjust for! I know that we, along with most of the caterers I personally know, have attempted to absorb as much as we could while trying not to raise prices. But, at some point your caterers will have to make that adjustment. One of the things we hear is, I could do it cheaper myself. You are probably right. In fact, almost assuredly you are right. But you are paying for the cost of the food, the planning and shopping, the staff that prepares the food, the incidentals, the time that you are saving by not doing it yourself….and the skill set that they have from years of catering. You are not just paying for the food. You are paying for the service as well. Just something to keep in mind when you are talking to your caterer about your food choices!

<3 Sara

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