I tend to take it for granted that everyone on the planet knows the story of Two Caterers and how this all started. I think that’s because in the last 19 years, 9 months and 15 days, by my reckoning, I have provided catering for about two and half million people. Some wildly creative one of a kind events, a few epic failures for which I will always be sorry, but all of it incredibly rewarding for the lessons that every single party has taught me. And if you multiply those 2,500,000 people times six of their friends, then six of their friends friends and so on (not unlike The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon), pretty much everyone has heard of Two Caterers...right? Okay, maybe not.
Well this is what our 20 Years Fresh campaign is all about. A full year devoted to telling stories. Sharing why we do what we do and how much it means to every member of our team.
It's my mission to keep this company youthful even as we have matured over these last twenty years. We do that by hiring people who love what they do and have fun doing it, through a limitless thirst to learn, and by hiring and giving voice to young talented people.
Three months ago I hired my new assistant, Jenn. And to bring her up to speed I'm digging deep and sharing what is basically the history of my entire adult life. To really get at the heart of our culture, the things that make this company so special, I would have take every opportunity to tell her the stories that have made a small company started by friends into a big, messy, awesome family. Tell all my stories to someone who hasn’t heard them before? Excellent. I should hire a new assistant every three months. Just kidding, Jenn! Unless you forget the gift-wrapping supplies again, then you're out :)
I have felt a profound gratitude for what has been accomplished. Anyone who knows me well understands that it’s hard for me to sit back and feel pride. My DNA is to think about what we could do better, what I’m missing, push on what I feel is never finished and then when I think it is – blow it all up all over again with the next challenge (see Sweet Carrot!!!). On the precipice of twenty years in business I'm going to take lots of small pauses to reflect on what I am truly, deeply, madly proud of… the relationships, experiences and personal growth that have emerged from what was never intended to be anything more than a way to not have to work for jerks while I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.
I often say that the whole version of this story must be told over a glass of brown liquor so I’ll be brief...
So it’s 1997. For those of you who don’t remember that’s the year that Mike Tyson bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear, Princess Di died in Paris, and the Spice Girls were topping the charts… My friend Jill and I both worked during the day at a mind-numbing dead end job and at night bartended at a jazz bar called Barrister Hall in the Brewery District a few nights a week. Every day at lunch we’d scheme about what we could do to work for ourselves while we decided what we wanted to be when we grew up.
After co-hosting a New Year's Eve party and providing the extra-fancy, ultra-original food - because we really had a way with Sam’s Club frozen quiche - our friends were convinced we should be caterers. And now this is happening.
Fast forward to 2017…my friend Jill has long since moved to California and my staff still gets asked by clients, “are you the two caterers” at least once a month. And our TC home is coincidentally right next to that Brewery District spot where we used to sling drinks and think about what was next…
So for the next twelve months, with the help of my completely awesome Two Caterers family, we'll be celebrating twenty years of curating experiences, creating opportunities, forming relationships and above all staying fresh in all that we do.
I'm really excited to share my stories and invite friends and family of Two Caterers to do the same. I hope you enjoy our blog project as much as we have in putting it together!