Vendor Spotlight: Jamie with Fodrey Catering Concepts LLC
Today we are introducing you to Jamie Fodrey, the chef and owner of Fodrey Catering Concepts. With almost 20 years experience in the food industry, she shares some great advice for couples planning their big day.
Tell us a little about your company.
Fodrey Catering Concepts LLC is a family owned and operated full service catering company specializing in delicious menus, beautifully presented at a price to meet most budget needs. Services range from small private dinners to corporate events, weddings and beyond. All menus are custom written to meet the needs of your specific event and budget. From intimate meals to large events, we are your ‘go to’ caterer for fresh, delicious and beautifully presented menus making your event extra special!
How did you get started in this business?
With nearly 20 years in the industry, we decided it was finally time to venture into the world of small business owners doing food our way. Fresh, delicious and beautiful! We know how to do food well, very well! We enjoyed the feeling of making events extra special/memorable with food! Most importantly, we knew it was time to bring our talent to the table in the Richmond market. Prior to our catering business venture we worked the heck out of the corporate restaurant scene and various segments of corporate dining. Our chef was the Executive Chef at the Virginia State Capitol for a time. Through our careers we have cooked for James Earl Jones and Sting! Eager to take the Richmond catering scene by storm, we have catered to the delegates of the Richmond French Film Festival, political delegate’s campaign parties, major retirement parties, and more!
What’s your favorite wedding story?
Whats my favorite wedding story? I love EVERY wedding story! But if we had to choose one it would definitely be a wedding we worked where the best man was dressed and acted JUST like Tom Cruise in Top Gun! I’m sure this wasn’t on purpose as he was really in the military dressed to perfection with those Top Gun sunglasses. His speech was absolutely priceless and the many videos he insisted taking my husband aside to watch was hilarious. My point is…our clients and guests are what make this business worth working!
Why do you like working with weddings?
What not many people realize is the relationships that develop in the wedding planning process. We are the caterer, but we are also the shoulder to lean on in the hectic world of wedding planning. You know how bartenders are classically the ones everyone spills their guts too? That’s us. We spend just as much time calming the nerves of super stressed folks planning such a special day as we do planning their actual menus. That is a very rewarding aspect of weddings!
What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a bride and how did you resolve it?
It is always a difficult situation when a bride is ordering for a certain number of people but plan for an open invite with expectation of many more guests. The client may understand that this only allows for a certain amount of food, but the guests do not. From a caterer’s perspective the guests assume the caterer has not done their job to provide for the reception. Much of future business depends on the guest experience. Word of mouth is powerful! We carefully plan portions, menu mix and execution to ensure your guests have a seamless experience all of the way through your event.
From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
There are two pieces of advice that come to mind. Ask your caterer what other vendors they have access too! You will find that caterers have many different vendor suggestions. We have worked with many other professionals and love to refer business out to those we’ve worked with and can trust. Also, take your guests into consideration for menu choices. For instance, you may be inclined to choose a vegetarian menu because you or your spouse are vegetarian, but your guests may not be vegetarian. Professional caterers are well prepared to offer menus that not only appeal to your specific preferences but your guests as well!
How far in advance should couples book your services?
Honestly, we are well prepared to fulfill requests in a 3 day notice. I wouldn’t suggest that though! Couples book caterers well in advance! The dates go quickly and waiting until late to book may cost you a premium. On average I would suggest booking your caterer 6 months in advance.
What inspires you the most / where do you find inspiration?
Typically any happy occasion revolves around food. Lets face it, even sad occasions revolve around food. Food seems to be what brings folks together, what makes occasions memorable! Our inspiration feeds off of how we could make any occasion extra special. Food is the talk of the town and we are here to provide it!
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
When we are away from work we are spending time with our children! A major benefit of working for ourselves is also having the freedom to basically write our own schedule. We have 2 growing boys that demand plenty of attention. As a business owner we finally have the freedom to be the parents we have always dreamed of.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
We are both super shy! In the hospitality industry you MUST be a people person. You MUST have that instinct to read people and adapt to personalities in order to prosper. Despite feeling as if we have a talent for the hospitality industry, we really are extremely shy at heart!
See some of our food photos in the gallery below!