It’s the Grand Life for Amy Abels
At the age of 14, Amy Abels started working in her family business as a waitress. Since her father’s retirement nine years ago and after graduating from the California Culinary Academy and the Culinary Institute of America, Abels has been running Grand Catering, well, rather grandly.
1. What surprises people the most about Grand Catering?
I think people who are not familiar with our company are generally surprised to find out that we have been in business for over 30 years. I think it is a rarity these days to see a culinary business thrive and sustain for that length of time. I really think the key to creating that kind of success is being able to adapt to a shifting economy, as well as your staff. You need to have people working for you who take pride in what they do and go that extra mile for the client and are not simply coming in to collect a paycheck.
2. Are weddings the most popular events that you host at Grandview Pavilion?
Yes, weddings are the main type of event that we host here. Our wedding season normally starts in April and runs through October. We also do a lot of corporate business and other events such as anniversary parties, high school reunions and events of that nature.
3. I’ll bet you meet a lot of Bridezillas.
I actually feel extremely lucky about the number of difficult clients we have encountered. I have definitely grown a thick skin over the years, so it takes a lot to surprise me now. But it still happens.
4. How would you describe your menus?
We have a vast number of menus because we do so many different types of events. We need to be able to satisfy our everyday corporate clients who request continental breakfast for their offices and the bride who wants a four-course, sit-down dinner. We pretty much have something for everyone. We also do custom menus. Recently, we had a traditional Indian wedding and the bride wanted her mom’s authentic Indian cooking. She provided us with the recipes, and kitchen staff did an amazing job in re-creating exactly what she envisioned.
5. You seem to love what you do — why?
My job can be extremely stressful but in turn extremely rewarding. There is no better feeling than checking my email on Monday morning and having the brides or other customers from the previous weekend tell me how happy they were with everything. That’s very gratifying. I also love whom I work with everyday. Most of our staff has been together for 10 years or longer. We’re like a family.