Vendor Spotlight- Jo's Custom Cakes and Catering
We are really excited to feature Jo's Custom Cakes and Catering after she catered our June Group Meeting for us were the food was amazing. Jo has tons of experience and really enjoys what she does, which is important when dealing with brides. Learn more info about Jo and her business. How did you get into catering?
I got into catering after being an auto mechanic (yes, really), working in a pharmacy, and then being a paint specialist ( I mixed a LOT of paint) at a local hardware store in Smyrna- Crosslin Supply. I started doing cakes in 1976 when I was blessed with a little brother. I was 14, and I just wanted to make his birthday cakes. I would take one to his daycare, one of the parents would see it and ask me to make their child's cakes. My cousin started a catering company while I was in high school and I started helping her and making her wedding cakes. My most memorable and life changing moment in the business came right away. The most prominent family's daughter (in our little town in Texas) was getting married and my cousin catered the wedding. I had only done two or three wedding cakes and they decided I just didn't have the experience to do their cake. They paid $1200.00 for this cake- in 1978! It arrived at the wedding and I remember it being the most beautiful cake I had ever seen. I noticed as we were picking up the cake plates after the wedding that no one was eating the cake. It tasted awful!! I decided right then and there that MY cakes would taste good first and then look gorgeous. What good is a cake you can't eat?!
In 1998 I did a three year apprenticeship at the Opryland Hotel Culinary Institute. I wanted to make sure I knew everything I could about food safety and doing the catering right. I learned a lot about guest relations there, too. Taking care of your client is what we are all about! In 2003 I was able to build my current location, which is right behind my home, so I can walk to work everyday.
What are some different options for catering that you offer brides?
We offer quite a few options for catering. We have the standard buffet, which can be served to your guests by my staff, with or without table service, plated dinner service, family style service, passed (butlered) hors d'oeuvres, stationary hors d' oeuvres, and action stations. We are always looking for new ways to incorporate our couples' unique ideas on how they want their receptions to really reflect who they are.
What are some new things you are working on for 2012?
We have been working very hard this year to be able to give our Brides and Grooms affordable catering,without sacrificing quality. We have designed a few new menus that are a little more a la cart so they can choose ways to stay within their budget and still have great food. We love action stations- it gives us a chance to interact with the guests. We have also been working on a new way of pricing our wedding cakes to make them more affordable. Being a smaller, family owned company gives us latitude to be more flexible to meet our clients' needs.
What are you’ll seeing popular in catering in 2012?
The buffet is reigning most popular with our couples this year. I think a lot of them like being able to serve a couple of different types of foods so their guests have more choices. We are seeing a lot of Southern traditional comfort food, which is one of our specialties.
What catering trends do you wish would die?
I really don't have any catering trend that I wish would go away.As a result of our economy being down, a lot of our brides don't have the budgets they used to have, but that makes us want to work harder to to make their dreams a reality. I wish we, as an industry, could take more time to educate our brides so that they understand why off premise catering is not as "cheap" as a restaurant or on premise caterer that does not have to pack everything but the kitchen sink for every job! Why, when we're standing in a field serving their guests, with no electricity or running water, it's going to be a little bit higher than if you were in a nice reception hall with all the amenities!
Tell me why brides should choose Jo's Custom Cakes and Catering
I think the reason anyone should hire Jo's Custom Cakes and Catering, Inc. for any event is the service they receive from our whole company. There are a lot of really good cooks out there and you can get good food just about anywhere. One of the things we hear most from our past clients is that we always go the extra mile for our clients and do what we say we are going to do plus a little more. We treat every client like they are our family, whether they are spending $9.95 or $29.95 or more for their catering. I will put the level of our service up against anyone in Nashville. Most of my staff have been with me at least the nine years we have been in this location, so we are efficient and work really well together. It is hard work, but we always have a good time doing what we love. A smile goes a long way!
Some personal info about Jo:
Mac or PC PC
Tea or Coffee Both
iPhone or Blackberry Blackberry- I am changing to an iphone next time!
My favorite songs right now Amazing Grace, (My Chains are Gone) by Chris Tomlin and Avalanche by Manafest