Party 20/20 | A 19 Year Tradition
By Angela Petro, CEO
This blog features the final event of our Twenty Events For Twenty Years series and it is by far the most special party of the year for me. If you’ve read along this year you’ll have noticed a theme. Every person who contributed talked about relationships…with coworkers, vendors and of course our clients. Party No. 20 is the ultimate tribute to the relationships that are formed when trust, communication, shared experiences and history all meld together to create the best expression of a whole-hearted experience…
This is for you Joe!
Many years ago when I was starting out (and Together & Company had literally two caterers, one oven, no stove and approximately eleven well-worn cookbooks) a client came through the door and said he was looking for someone to handle his company holiday party. His last caterer didn’t measure up to his very specific standards and he was willing to give us an opportunity. This guy was intense. He knew exactly what he wanted and very clearly had high expectations. He was also a live, actual paying customer with a healthy budget. We weren’t exactly cutting branches off the money tree back then so when he asked if we thought we could handle it the answer was “yes sir! and would you like to make that deposit in cash or credit?”
Apparently, we nailed it because he invited us back the next year…and for every major life event he and his family experienced for that last nineteen years. Yep. We just wrapped Joe’s party for the nineteenth year in a row. And I’ve been at every one of those holiday parties and honed my craft as a caterer because of those very high standards and expectations that were set for me so many years ago. I’ve been at his home through the loss of a parent, a college graduation, wedding rehearsal dinners, milestone birthdays. Every occasion that was important in this family’s life, I was there. Providing nourishment, comfort, and taking care of the details so that, whatever the occasion, Joe could be with his guests and not worry about a thing.
In return, Joe has always gone out of his way to make sure my team knows that what they do matters. That putting together a party with the utmost attention to detail is valued and that serving guests is a dignified job and one to be celebrated. I told you that Joe likes nice things. He travels extensively, eats at fabulous restaurants and drinks amazing wines. And he shows his appreciation to those who do the work. At the end of the holiday party every year Joe pours each of my team a glass of wine and has the band stay and play a set just for them. He toasts them and shares from the bottom of his heart how it truly couldn’t happen without them. What’s important to know is that every person who works Joe’s party leaves feeling that they are very good at their jobs, that service is a true skill and that their work is not only appreciated but that they are the best at what they do.
So at the end of another wonderful year - and the end of our 20th year in business - I celebrate this profession that has afforded me the opportunity to serve others through their most important moments and particularly clients like Joe who have informed the values that are the backbone of our culture. My greatest wish for my team is that they have the privilege of developing their own lifelong relationships that will help mold them into their best professional selves.