The Cater Innovators
Minneapolis and St. Paul have been foodie cities for a while now. From fine dining, exceptional greasy spoons, and artsy cafes, the Twin Cities has a little bit of everything for the resident foodie: including extraordinary catering. If catering and foodie culture do not seem like an obvious pairing, then we cannot wait to revolutionize your catering game. Many local caterers defy expectations with exceptional catering offerings, but there are two in particular to which we want to introduce you: Culinaire and We Cater to You.
Culinaire is a national organization that specializes in events at iconic cultural hubs like art museums, theaters, and concert halls. Culinaire owns several award-winning restaurants (among them Sea Change and FIKA) which are the backbone of their catering services. Needless to say, they have the experience and resources to pull off events for thousands, and the attention to detail to make more intimate events just as special.
We Cater to You is completely local. With a legacy running 35 years, it has been owned by business and life partners (a married couple! so cute!) Lynn Guggemos and Kym Chase for the last thirteen. We Cater to You is currently on a five-year winning streak for the Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Award and have plenty of other past awards that they can tell you all about. We Cater to You can do everything from a simple corporate breakfast to a full weekend of three beautiful catered meals a day—and everything in between.
So many elements that go into finding the right caterer. There are obvious questions to ask like, “Do they prepare the kind of food I want to serve my guests?”, or “Is this caterer located in my city?” And then there are the less logistical, more personal qualifications. Lynn gets that. “You need the right fit,” she says, “You want to have the same vision of things.” Sometimes this vision relates to aesthetics and working style: sometimes it has to do with our values.
A lot of us want to support businesses that support the GLBT community. Both Culinaire and We Cater to You are GLBT-friendly. We Cater to You is obviously owned and run by a same-sex couple and has catered its fair share of same-sex weddings. Jason Brown-Hoesing, Culinaire’s regional director of catering sales, and also a member of the GLBT community, described the “close-knit [GLBT] community” in Minnesota.
“Culinaire works closely with the GLBT community on a variety of events throughout the year,” he said, “(And our) involvement spreads beyond what we do here in the Twin Cities.” In fact, in 2017 Culinaire received a 5 Factor Award from the Resource Center (one of the largest GLBT community centers in the nation), which notes Culinaire’s dedication to “demonstrating diversity, inclusivity, and generosity.”
Both companies also work hard to be eco-friendly, sustainable, and as local as possible. Lynn explains, “Everything we make in-house is made from scratch, and because we are a smaller company, we use a lot of other small companies that are locally owned and operated.” Culinaire also prioritizes using in-season, locally sourced ingredients. Yay! Good food you can feel good about!
But enough about principles. What about resumés? No matter how big your event is going to be, chances are pretty good that Culinaire and We Cater to You have already done something bigger. Due to Culinaire’s relationship with the Guthrie, ASI, and the Walker, they are responsible for catering the Guthrie Gala, Cocktails at the Castle, Rock the Garden, and Avant Garden every year. Brown-Hoesing describes these as “one of a kind events” of which Culinaire is very proud.
We Cater to You has a similarly impressive resume, from catering the Twin Cities Marathon, to being one of the select caterers who worked with the Super Bowl in Minneapolis, to exclusively catering a four-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the Ryder Cup. All outdoors. Full china.
Give them a ring. See what they can do for you. Have Jason tell you about the possibility of chef performances at your next event. This kind of interactive activity can take your next event to the next level.
Ask Lynn about catering a picnic sometime this summer. We Cater to You makes elote that is to die for and an exceptional champagne chicken that you absolutely have to put on your Minneapolis must-try list.
You cannot go wrong with either We Cater to You or Culinaire.