Good Life Catering

23 08 2009

“We got interested in local food before local food was really trendy,” says Jenny Breen of Good Life Catering. For sixteen years, long before the ideas of slow food and being a localvore existed, she and her high school friend Karn have been cooking for clients using local and seasonal ingredients directly from farmers and producers. The business moved from their kitchen into a full restaurant, then back to catering out of a community center and now finds its home in the Midtown Global Market.

Sustainability has several different meanings, typically involving a balance of social, economic and environmental principles, all of which apply to the business philosophy of Good Life Catering. Jenny and Karn have realized that for their business to be successful that they need to find a balance of cost, time and energy that can allow them to enjoy what they are doing. They realized that at that time, raising families and growing their business wasn’t a sustainable choice for either of them.

Five years ago, Minnesota Bride magazine featured Good Life Catering in an article on green caterers, which exposed them to a new group of potential clients and also served as a motivation to rev up their business, which meant finding a more permanent home and creating a marketing plan to make their business more sustainable long term. Now situated in the Midtown Global Market, they cater both large and small events, teach cooking classes on and off site and continue to use local, organic and seasonal ingredients. Jenny and Karn work directly with producers to place their orders.

Throughout the year, Good Life Catering partners with several organizations including Renewing the Countryside to put on demonstrations, which is how Margaret made her initial contact with their business. Working with other like minded organizations has allowed Good Life Catering to become more involved in different communities throughout the Twin Cities, and has expanded their customer base in the process. As people are becoming more aware of food related issues, they have found that their business has steadily grown.

For Margaret’s wedding, Featherstone Fruits and Vegetables donated all of the produce, and Good Life Catering Staff by Laura Ivanovashe personally specified that she wanted to use Hope Creamery butter. Though most customers don’t have such specific requests, Jenny was excited to work with Featherstone and she found it easy to accommodate the butter since Hope butter is something they regularly use. Jenny also makes a point to make a menu card for each event, detailing where the items came from and the names of the suppliers. “All I do is cook with food, they’re the ones who produce or grow it,” she says.

The food communities that they have become a part of know how important those relationship are to the success of their business and have kept their supply of fresh, local food coming over the years. Jenny and Karn’s food ethics have always translated directly into their work and they have seen that people are more interested in supporting local and organic catering. Their motto is, “Live Simply. Eat Well. Enjoy Life,” which they will continue to do for years to come.

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One response

9 09 2009
Adrian

“Live Simply. Eat Well. Enjoy Life”. Excellent motto. Using sustainable food that is locally grown supports all local businesses and helps the envioroment. Great post.

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