By ANNA CATE LITTLE
Pharmaceutical sales don’t usually conjure up images of food, but for Kelly and Rob Bright, it was their meal ticket, so to speak. In 2003, when pharmaceutical reps were luring in doctors by way of catered, in-office lunches, the Brights found their livelihood emerging from their very own kitchen. They knew they liked to cook and must have been pretty good at it, because at a moment’s notice they agreed to cater a 25-person lunch for a drug-rep neighbor and friend. The chicken tetrazzini was a hit, and from there the calls started rolling in.
“We did that lunch, and our business exploded,” recalled Rob. “She called back. Other reps called. Even the doctor’s offices started asking for our food.” Some preliminary research on Rob’s part concluded that the reps wanted three things: payment with American Express, quality food and on-time delivery. And with that, The Edgewood Catering Company was born.
But catering lunches from their Edgewood Boulevard home (where they were raising three kids, as well) was only the beginning. People wanted more. They wanted to share these incredible meals with their families, and requests for this and that did not go unheard. Rob and Kelly extended their business to offer pickup meals that people could take home. But the calls and knocks at the door became too much to handle, and they found themselves having to turn down business.
“Our business was in our home turned into our home was in our business,” said Rob. It was time to find a storefront, and they eventually landed in their current location on Crescent Avenue. In 2007, they opened the doors to their catering company that also housed What’s 4 Supper pickup meals.
With the downturn in the economy came a cutback on catering budgets, but luckily the Brights had found a niche in providing incredibly fresh, tasteful meals that can be ordered ahead or simply plucked from their fridge in the store. The menu changes weekly, with the exception of baked ziti that is always offered, due to popular demand.
The winter brings seasonal soups while summertime evokes colorful salads. Rob has perfected a number of casseroles, marinated meats and sides, while Kelly’s baked goodies will knock your socks off. And the yeast rolls, well, they’re heavenly.
For holidays, or any special occasion, the company will complete the entire meal package. Easter, for example, will feature a menu of honey-glazed spiral sliced ham, pineapple casserole, green beans, hash brown casserole, yeast rolls and carrot cake. Pick and choose from the menu or simply bring the entire meal home.
As for the catering side, they are rebuilding a strong base of corporate clients, and happily find themselves operating about 50/50 catering versus pickup meals. “And we still get new people coming in every week,” said Kelly.
It’s apparent that what keeps Kelly and Rob going strong in their 19-year marriage and nine-year-old business is both a foundation rooted in their strong Christian faith and a loyal customer base. “I would like for it to be stated that this would not work without her,” said Rob of his wife and business partner.
Those loyal customers are often asking the Brights if they will ever open a restaurant, but the answer is no. “The concept is to take it home and eat it at home,” said Kelly. “You know, home-cooked food that you didn’t have to cook, but it tastes like you did.”
“We can even say that we’re promoting eating together at the table,” said Rob with a laugh, while Kelly adds, “Yes! We’re promoting family!”
Edgewood Catering/What’s 4 Supper
2900 Crescent Avenue
Mon.-Thurs., 12-5:30 p.m.
Fri., 12-4 p.m.