Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Everyday Gourmet named Small Business of the Month

We are pleased to recognize Everyday Gourmet as Small Business of the Month.

Everyday Gourmet is a full service catering company serving "gourmet without pretention." Owned by Alisia Parrott, Everyday Gourmet values teamwork and resourcefulness in delivering delicious, seasonal food. 

Read on for our interview with owner Alisia Parrott...

Chamber Chair Linda Brandt with Alisia Parrott, owner Everyday Gourmet,
Chance Folse and John Miles, Chamber Vice Chair of Membership
Tell us a little of the company’s history.
Everyday Gourmet was founded several years ago by Traci and Treavis Taylor, the owners of Fig, located in Biltmore Village.  I was a manager of the company for two years.  When the Taylors were ready to let go of the business in order to pursue other dreams, I was delighted to purchase the business.  I had been in restaurant management for 14 years. An aspect of my job I had always loved the most was coordinating large events and off-site catering.  For me, it has been a natural progression into owning a catering business.  I love how rejuvenating this industry is for me, with continual opportunities for fresh and creative event themes, new venues, and of course innovative menu creations.

What makes Everyday Gourmet unique? What are your specialties?
Our versatility sets us apart.  We want all clients to feel accommodated. The term “catering” applies as much to the process of customizing menus and service to specific needs as to the simple act of providing food.  My passion is to create options that honor clients’ requests from dietary needs such as vegan or gluten free to working with a particular budget.  Our professional staff delights in this same resourcefulness while working as a team in the kitchen then moving on to decorating table tops on site.     

Any company highlights you’d like to share? What are you most proud of?
There have been some fun thematic challenges including a period Victorian lunch for students studying Charles Dickens.   We also had a reception for the local jeweler, Blue, in which cubed blue food was created with Peruvian blue potato prosciutto skewers, cubed macaroons with blue sanding sugar, blueberry lavender shortbread, and house made honey thyme bleu cheese crackers.  Building relationships through this personal touch has been a gratifying way to watch my business grow.  I am so very proud to see my client list expand as shown by a full calendar and an A list of repeat customers.  The Everyday Gourmet tagline is to CREATE, NOURISH, DELIGHT; when folks are falling in love and coming back for more that means the delight is mutual!
What’s next on the horizon?
Being a goal driven person I am constantly moving inside of a larger plan.  Currently, I have the pleasure of leasing some of my private kitchen space to The Lowdown food truck as their commissary kitchen.  I love the community of a kitchen, sharing ideas, techniques, and jokes.  When my current lease comes to an end I am committed to creating a space that can support more commissary use.  I also visualize a kitchen large enough, with an open layout that would serve beautifully as an intimate event space and a class setting for culinary workshops for the home cook.

The Asheville Chamber’s tagline is “Connect. Enage. Impact. Thrive.” Pick one of these words {or all of them if you are feeling verbose : ) } and tell us what it means to you as a small business in Asheville.
Great question! Thriving has been my experience in Asheville, both personally and professionally.

Upon moving here four years ago I experienced the proverbial step back before being able to take two forward. I arrived in the midst of a dampened economy. Getting started was challenging; differently from previous moves, I was relocating for quality of life, rather than to a specific professional opportunity. While I've had to be creative, it has been life changing to experience such terrific support both for my family and my growing business.

I'm proud to see our economy thrive with relocating companies such as New Belgium coming in. It shows what a destination Asheville has become not only for tourism but for putting down roots and enjoying a high quality of life. I feel pride in my home town when I see us featured in Martha Stewart and Food and Wine. I feel part of something special when I see the Chamber folks that are putting us on the map also providing tools and support for so many small businesses to expand on a healthy foundation.

I'm excited to play a part by nurturing this thriving environment, paying living wages to people creating their own ambitions, and offering happiness as a core value in my business. And, I see how this is all part of creating more vibrancy for my own children and others I love.

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