Up next: Paul Evans Catering (Island Park, NY)
Paul Evans operates out of a 5,000 square ft. cooking and production kitchen in Island Park, NY. Their catering services are available throughout the tri-state area, including the east end of Long Island.
Paul Evans Catering had its early beginnings over 40 years ago for Evan (of Paul Evans) when he was a University of New Hampshire hospitality major . In 1980, the business was known as "Campus Quiche" ! Meals, events and parties were created for the customers in Durham and the cool Wildcat hockey fans! Meanwhile back on Long Island , Paul was cooking with their Mom Alberta, who is now deceased. Alberta was best known for making everything pretty on the platter and cooking for four big hungry boys turned men. Now my own children, Ricky and Andie sometimes help in the kitchen when things get busy and also make deliveries.
Joining forces back in New York, Paul Evans Catering (also known to our early customers as Tbls. ; the abbreviation for tablespoon) found a space in Cedarhurst New York. The business began to grow as two young brothers created delicious food and beautiful parties in the neighborhood. They became "famous" for the best matzoh ball soup, little filet mignon sandwiches, best pecan pie, party platters and awesome chocolate chip cookies (Send 'em Cookies) Even more important were the celebrations, events and memories created. Customers used us for christenings, birthday parties, engagements, weddings , anniversary parties and more. As our customers got older, we became acquainted with their growing families. What began as a birthday party for a toddler or a thirty year old was now an event for a second or third generation family member. A positive reputation in our special community and beyond was happening and our family of customers was growing.
In the 90's we began to explore corporate catering by catering to art museums like Queens Museum events and global meetings at hospitals like Sloan Kettering. It was going well. Even though I'm older, and not well versed in using social media to attract customers, the businesses were finding us.
The catering business has its ups and downs because it is seasonal. Even after 40 years, after each Christmas season, we would still get worried and hope that come Spring the parties would begin again. They always did! We didn't do this with the intent to become rich (of course anyone would enjoy financial success), we went into the business because its what we knew and loved. Business was growing, we were adding staff, and people loved us. It was not uncommon for folks to say "I remember when we catered my mom's 80th birthday party and now we are planning my son's christening!" Or " I remember when you catered my wedding and now we are planning our 25th wedding anniversary!" " Or see on Facebook "Of course we know Tbls. catering!" We enjoyed seeing the families grow and celebrating their milestones. Our customers are like family to us! I believe that is a large part of what makes us unique in our community…our family making memories for their families.
When the pandemic hit, we saw our business go from a steady pace to almost nothing. We did our best to help and provided food to some local hospitals and front line workers. We continue to pay the employees we have and have managed to stay as current as possible with bills by not taking our own salaries. On the bright side, we have our good health again after myself and my family members all had COVID and quarantined for one month. Thank goodness no employees have been ill!
The primary reason our business is struggling is that people are not gathering! Corporate events, trainings and parties are not taking place due to COVID of course. We are trying to sell individual boxed lunches to any companies that are interested. We have tried to change the business model for our personal clients by delivering food to customers homes for small groups or a family of 4-6. It just isn't enough to make ends meet and we won't survive as is for much longer.
Dave and Barstool could help us financially in any way to continue the legacy of Paul Evans Catering. We cannot wait and hope to again create beautiful celebrations for our communities' families and businesses. Goodness knows we need to get back to having some fun! We would be forever grateful. Thank you again.