The Year We Hit Pause
At Celine and Company Catering, we love events! This is what we do. Weddings- always! Rehearsal dinners- yes, please. Fundraisers- every chance we get. Corporate luncheons, trainings, award ceremonies, holiday parties- these are our jam! Bar Mitzvahs, 60th Birthdays, Quinceanera- you get the idea. We love our historic venue and we are honored to be a part of people’s special moments both in our space and in other beautiful venues around Asheville. But, as y’all know, these special events were put on pause in 2020 when the pandemic began. Now, four months down the road, they have not fully returned. So, here we are, missing the satisfaction of doing what we do well. We miss feeding folks, caring for folks, using our expertise to bring their vision to life.
Everybody Pivot Now
Luckily, we are a small, independent business. Celine and Company runs on creativity and hard work. We are not bogged down by heavy infrastructure, but we do have overhead. We must pay our bills and we must keep our clients and staff safe and cared for. So, we have done what so many small businesses have done, pivoted our business model. Large indoor events cannot currently be guaranteed safe, but a restaurant safely distanced (at half or less capacity) with guests and staff following all safety precautions, this could allow us to do what we love again. Celine and Company presents The Hideaway “On Broadway”. Our spacious vintage dining room is now a restaurant offering live music, weekend dinner and Sunday brunch. Again, we are sprucing up our space, adding locally grown flowers, tall plants and elegant centerpieces. Again, our stoves are hot. Our chef is menu planning and cooking to order. Our floor staff is serving and caring for our guests. This is not how we imagined summer 2020, but it is where we are supposed to be.
Just Keep Stepping
So, we cannot do exactly what we have always loved. We have had to help our dearly loved clients postpone their cherished events. We think about them daily and continue to work for them, booking very small events now and planning large events for the future. In the meantime, we keep moving and creating joy. We serve delicious food to grateful guests. We fill our space with local talent. The musicians have been everything. They are their own small business and too have been hard hit by the pandemic economy. We offer them a safe place to perform and they bring the joy and emotion we so sorely need. We are still celebrating events- anniversaries and birthdays, but for 2 or 6, instead of 200.
Sad Songs You Can Dance To
We are turning lemons into lemonade, but that doesn’t mean some days are not still sour. This year has not been easy for anyone, especially small business owners. We commiserate daily with other vendors and restaurant owners. How can we keep our business afloat financially and keep our beloved staff and clients safe? We apply for assistance. We develop thorough protocols- and we follow them. We pay attention to our community’s desires and their needs. Daily we ask ourselves, “Are we still safe? Are we supporting each other? Is business still viable?” We open the doors on Friday night knowing we are offering our best- incredibly delicious food, local beer, inspiring music. We are supporting farmers, brewers, staff and local patrons. For several hours Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays we forget our worries and have the absolute joy of taking care of others. Events almost always wow with a single unplanned moment of magic you couldn’t see coming. As it turns out, pop up restaurants do the same. We connect with people even thru masks. Humans are resilient, small businesses too.