With pumpkins & sweater weather fast approaching it’s almost time to say hello to 2017! We can’t wait to break out the champagne on another fantastic wedding season and just thinking about all the beautiful weddings coming up is giving me *all* the feels.
Wedding planning can be stressful, but don’t let it give your gray hairs! Our team at Gramercy wants to do everything we can to make the process as easy and enjoyable as it should be. With 9 catering companies now on our list for 2017, we know that things may get a little hectic with proposals and phone calls and linen choices….the list goes on. That’s why I decided to do a blog post campaign featuring all of our new catering companies to share with you what makes them as special as we know they are 🙂
Last week, I sat down with Bobby & his team at The Classic Catering People & today I kick off the campaign with them! Check out our conversation below to get a taste of what’s to come for wedding season 2017!
Tell us a little about The Classic Catering People, where you started, background and a brief history.
Based in Owings Mills, Md., The Classic Catering People is a woman-owned business with more than 40 years of experience in social and corporate catering. Also a family-owned business, it was founded in 1970 by Ansela and Michael Dopkin, whose son and daughter, Eddie and Harriet, both found their own roles within the company. Today, Harriet Dopkin serves as president and partner of Classic, and her cousin, Larry Frank, and nephew, David Dopkin, complete the family partnership.
Believing that a passion for food is at the base of every event, Classic has earned a reputation for creating memorable meals and gatherings, both large and small, throughout Baltimore and beyond. Classic takes pride in its community service, as well as its deep commitment to the environment through composting, recycling and sustainable purchasing practices.
Describe the range of services you offer.
The Classic Catering People is a full-service caterer offering services for weddings, galas, corporate events, picnics and more. As the official caterer for the Baltimore Ravens, Classic provides meals for the team at their Under Armour Performance Center training facility, as well as on the road. We truly believe in the value of partnering with our clients to create their dream event by guiding them through not just the food, but the ambience, décor and overall experience for both our clients and their guests. We always aim to come up with “out of the box” ideas to create memorable events tailored to the client and their specific wishes and needs.
Last year, we worked with a client to plan an Indian wedding that took place over four days. We were responsible for planning and executing nearly every element of the celebration – bars, cocktails, tenting, etc. – as well as the food. On the first day, the traditional Indian wedding featured Indian food that was prepared by Classic with the assistance of an advisory team from a local Indian caterer. The celebration the second night was mostly American-themed with American food prepared by Classic, but we also added in elements of Indian culture, like a henna table where guests could get henna tattoos. On the final day, we married the two cultures with an Indian-American brunch to close out the festivities. Every event Classic creates is a challenge for our team to think “out of the box” to provide the best results for our clients and an event they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
Do you have a specialty dish that leaves people walking away saying , “Wow!”?
We are always tasking our team of chefs to create innovative and inventive cuisine that doesn’t feel “catered.” A few of their creations that have really wowed our clients are the amazing, unique desserts they have come up with. For example, one of our recent wedding clients did not want a traditional wedding cake, so instead our chefs prepared fresh donuts and “adult” milkshakes for the reception. Another example is our twisted bananas foster, which we finish off with Grand Marnier and a flambé to make the dessert not just food, but rather an experience for guests to enjoy.
Describe the booking process with The Classic Catering People.
Building relationships with our clients is so important to us, so we like to sit down with our clients in-person to kick off the planning of their event. We’ll talk through food, the venue, etc. Every event we plan is created from scratch; no two events are the same. Whether this is your first time planning an event or you host events annually, collaborating with our clients is essential in order for us to fulfill your needs and desires for your event – within your budget. Through our first meeting with a client, we want to start a dialogue that continues throughout the entire planning process and execution so that your event is exactly as you want it to be. Our goal is not only to provide an outstanding experience for our clients and guests, but to also maintain our relationships with our clients after their events.
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
I think the number one thing that makes Classic stand out is our consistent, high level of quality in both food and service, coupled with our ability to constantly invent new foods and ideas. Everyone who works at Classic – our account executives, chefs, bakery, administrative staff, servers and bartenders – plays a role in the success of each event. We are always challenging ourselves to come up with 5-10 new ideas that are executable, and our president, Harriet, challenges us to pull new ideas from our life experiences, such as travels or different foods we’ve tried. It’s great to know that our superlative food, service and team-centered approach is expected and appreciated by our clients and their guests.
What’s one wedding that stands out in your memory and why?
A wedding we planned at the Gramercy Mansion that stands out in my memory was set to take place in the Gramercy porch veranda with 150 guests. Just a couple of days before the wedding, we learned that there were now 210 guests, a number that the veranda could not accommodate. We had originally planned several food stations featuring different menus that would be placed around the veranda, but at the last minute we had to completely change the menu to a served dinner so we could seat people in the area where the stations would have been. In the end, everything worked out great and the guests had a wonderful time. The team at Gramercy was awesome to work with, and the success of the event proved that one of the great things about Classic is how we overcome adversity and rise to the challenge to provide the best possible experience for our clients and their guests.
The best way to contact you to book or schedule a meeting.
To get in touch with Classic, you can call us at 410-356-1666 or contact us through our website, www.classiccatering.com.
About Bobby Pressman
For more than two decades, clients have been praising Bobby’s results-oriented focus, as well as his attention to detail, infinite patience and responsiveness. He credits the amazing and talented support team at The Classic Catering People. All we know is that when his clients say things like “Thanks for a phenomenal job” and “He took a ton of stress off my shoulders,” we all look good.
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