Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooke Greer.
Hi Brooke, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started working in the events industry 15+ years ago serving at County Line when I first moved to Austin and then selling events and managing catering for a couple of Austin staples, Word of Mouth and the restaurant group, Parkside Projects. In 2014, I was approached by Ben Edgerton and Andrew Wisehart, who I knew through mutual friends, and asked to head their catering department for Contigo. It was a life changing opportunity. I was able to take the catering division from a small five person operation to triple that size in just four years, focusing on new ways to make catering beautiful, interesting and delicious for our clients. I really wanted to offer an updated experience unlike the ones being offered at the time. It paid off and in 2020 I made the decision to buy Contigo Catering and am now in the process of becoming its sole owner.
In 2018, I also started a rental company with my husband called Table Manners, offering fun eclectic tableware and linen. Again, I was looking to provide an alternative to what was already available. I source a lot of my wares from Italy and around the world so that our inventory is like no other. Having made so many wonderful vendor friends through Contigo Catering, we were very busy very quickly and now I’m lucky to be running two successful event businesses. It’s a challenge but I love it!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
No, I wouldn’t say it was smooth. There are highs and lows to every business venture. Tripling the size of the catering company in such a short time came with staffing, space and logistical challenges. I definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of some core Contigo Catering employees. We were all each other’s cheerleaders through a too busy SXSW or wedding season. At the end we’d look back and say, we did it! Then we’d look forward and say let’s do more. We got this! So yeah, there were bumps along the way, but having a team I trusted helped make the ride manageable and TBH, pretty fun!
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Contigo Catering was born as an offshoot to the restaurant Contigo. We’ve been operating since 2014 and in 2020 I began the process of becoming it’s the sole owner. I oversee our team and am there to offer support and big picture thinking. I’m always ten steps ahead looking to evolve with the times, constantly striving to offer new experiences and food adventures. Contigo Catering is known for its creative, chef-driven ingredients & quality food, and we and follow the seasons when creating menus, which are customized for each client based on their tastes and event style. We find this brings an intimacy to the gatherings that would be void if we only offered standard menus. Each wedding, party and corporate event we do is a unique experience for our client and their guests and that’s what makes us stand out.
Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
So many! I’d have to say I’m a bit of a risk junky. Starting Table Manners while in the midst of running Contigo Catering was a crazy venture. We set out to begin slow but it took off right away. Balancing my time between both businesses is an art. I have to be “on” constantly and give enough attention to each so that they stay on track, remaining innovative and sought after. Another more recent risk I’ve taken was deciding to buy Contigo Catering in 2020 during a pandemic, when catering was at an all time low. A lot of food operations were closing their doors and there I was saying, you know what, I believe in this business so much that I’m going to buy it. Pandemic be damned! I’m still in the process of the buyout and I don’t regret the decision one bit. Business is steadily picking up and I’m confident we’ll be back to normal within a year or two. We just have to remain flexible, adaptable and relative like we’ve always tried to do.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.contigocatering.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/contigocatering/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/contigocatering/
Brittany Jean Photography, Kate LeSueur, Gloria Goode