Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Baker.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Matthew. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
My love for culinary arts started when I was about five years old; I used to carry a Cuisinart in my little red wagon to all my neighbors asking if they wanted me to cook them a meal! Throughout my teen years, I enjoyed helping out in the kitchen and learning new things.
As a young adult, I wound up with a fantastic opportunity to move to San Jose and work for the Hilton Hotel group under some amazing executive chefs. I started as a Sous Chef and moved into the Restaurant Manager position, despite feeling like I couldn’t do that job seeing as how I am deaf. “How could I manage people,” I thought. My boss pushed me beyond my comfort zone and told me I could do anything. He was right!
I maxed out my opportunity for growth in that position (and learned A LOT), so I decided to move back to San Diego to start my own company. I really enjoyed the idea of catering because one day you could be in a backyard, the next day you could be in a parking lot and then the beach the next day! It wasn’t like the mundane world of hotels.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has DEFINITELY not been a smooth road to getting where I am today. I started my company nearly 19 years ago. Not only has the food industry changed, technology has changed greatly (for the benefit of me and my company).
Deaf culture is widely more accepted now than it was in the early 2000s. I found that many customers didn’t trust using a relay service to communicate with me. Since I had to use the relay service, many people assumed it was a sales call and hung up on me. Now that technology has changed quite a bit, I am able to use a video relay service where I have a direct phone number clients can reach me at.
I rarely get hung up on now that I have this service! I am proud to say that I survived the 9/11 economy fails as well as the 2009 recession. There were many days where I thought I may have to close these business doors but I am proud to say that through the decisions I made along the way, we never had to make that difficult decision.
I found (the hard way) that I really should have asked for help when I needed it. Even if it was a simple question (that I thought was a ‘stupid question’), I should have asked it. It cost me a lot of $ in mistakes if I would have swallowed my pride to get the information I needed.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Feast on This Culinary & Event Production story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a full culinary and event production company. We handle events such as the board of directors meetings to larger events like corporate holiday parties or tailgates. We do weddings, birthday parties, corporate events and everything in between. We are especially known for our customer service and extreme attention to detail.
We specialize in themed parties and are proud to say we’ve done hundreds of successful theme parties such as Harry Potter Happy Hour, Alice in Wonderland Birthday Party, Roaring through the Decades company holiday party, and many more!
We prefer to use the term “culinary production” instead of caterer; everyone these days thinks they can “cater” events with the DIY movement! We focus on quality, taste, and full experience, unlike our competitors. Many of our clients turn to friends because of how comfortable they feel throughout the planning process. We are very proud of that.
Unlike other caterers in the area, I am proud to have a strong culinary foundation to my work. Many of our competitors only have business backgrounds, and their chefs have the culinary. Expertise With me, you get the best of both worlds!
Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years? Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc?
Every five years or so, I have seen my company grow; when I first started out, we were doing the board of directors meetings for 10-15 people. Slowly, that grew to doing parties for 20-50 people. Now, we are mostly doing events for 500+ people! I’ve seen trends shift over the years too.
Where do I see our industry going? I am putting more focus on the experience of our guests. I want them to have hands-on experiences where they leave the event thinking, “wow, I’ve never experienced something like that before.”
- Prices vary from $50-$300 per person depending on production aspects
- Address: 8395 Camino Santa Fe, Suite D, San Diego, CA 92121
- Website: www.feastonthis.com
- Phone: 858-597-0740
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/feastonthiscatering
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/feastonthiscateringandevents