Almost 13 years ago Molly and I scraped together $2000 and decided to start our own catering company; FIG was born and it has been quite the rollercoaster ride. I have had the pride and joy of working with very talented and unique people over these years – chefs and cooks who are some of the most creative and hard-working people in Chicago (a city full of culinary talent), interns who became office managers who became event managers and all along the way have worked with even the most stubborn clients to grow FIG to where it is today, service staff who are also writers, doctors, artists, teachers, actors, dog walkers, etc. and constantly amaze me with their versatility and willingness to absorb the FIG philosophy and represent it. Beyond our company walls I have also worked with great vendors, farmers, collaborators, and other small business owners that helped us satisfy quirky requests and accomplish amazing feats of catering, often at the last minute.
I have also been lucky enough to work for uncountable awesome clients – brides and grooms on their “biggest” of days, famous actors, athletes, intellectuals, and politicians, birthday celebrants from 1-90, sustainable businesses that wanted their catering to live up to their goals, and so many more. I have watched wedding ceremonies with eyes full of tears as two women finally, legally took their vows in front of their grandchildren. I have listened, from the kitchen, as Steve Edwards and Austan Goolsbee (voices that as an avid public radio listener I’m very attuned to) spoke. I have felt pride, as a guest, watching my team feed and care for my family at my brother’s wedding. I have cooked in some of the smallest and largest homes in the city and been equally welcome into both. And, I can’t forget to mention, catering for Vice President Biden.
I couldn’t have done any of this without the love and support of friends and family who continue to invite us to do thing and be places that we usually can’t “because we have an event.” Not to mention all of them who hired us to cater their events in the beginning of our business and gave us the money and confidence to keep going. It’s nice to know they are always there.
Most of all I have been lucky enough to work side-by-side with the woman who helped me make this all possible, the love of my life, Molly. If it were not for her passion, strength, love, and constant hardwork and dedication, FIG surely would not have stood a chance. She makes all of this possible and does so with the steadiest of hands and immeasurable will. This journey has not always been easy and there have been many literal “blood, sweat and tears” moments, but I would not trade it for anything.
If you are reading this, I just want to thank you for being a part of FIG and part of my life! I hope you’ll stick around to see the changes at FIG and what’s next for me.