Growing up, my father owned a restaurant and I spent my teenage years along side my sisters helping to plan and cater events.
In 1976, I began a part-time job with Ukrop's Super Markets working in their delicatessen department. After working there for ten years I realized the food industry was my passion. From Ukrop's, I move on to work at a hotel as a catering coordinator and later became their catering and sales manager. After working at the hotel for three years, I had the opportunity to go back to work at Ukrop’s as their delicatessen/kitchen coordinator and later became the delicatessen/kitchen category manager. While at Ukrop's, I was on the Carryout Catering Development Team and oversaw that operation which included planning the company picnic for 5,000 associates.
After my tenure with Ukrop's, I move on to be a consultant and worked for a local produce distributor and later became a sales rep for a food broker. While I was a food broker, one of my responsibilities was planning food shows. I built a strong professional relationship with people in restaurants, catering businesses and just about anyone who sold food. While working my full-time jobs, I coordinated and planned weddings, catered family reunions and birthday parties for family and friends. People would say “you are in your element” when I was working their event.
My father use to say “why work for someone else if you can work for yourself” and I think those words stuck in my mind and I had a dream of owning my own company some day. I had no choice but to work for others during the years of raising my two sons and having my own company wasn’t an option. Looking back now, I realize that working for others gave me the knowledge and experience necessary to have my own company now. As the saying goes “timing is everything.”
Thank you for reading my life story in the food industry. I hope I have the opportunity to serve you with planning or catering your joyous occasion with family and friends.