Rich Cuisine Catering
A well-known, blonde spiky haired guy once said, “Food is not just eating energy. It’s an experience.” That guy was Guy Fieri and the dynamic duo behind Rich Cuisine, Tom and Jess Rich, would agree. That’s why they strive to make memorable, delicious food for every event they cater, whether it be a wedding, party, corporate event, or funeral. Gatherings are better with good food.
Rich Cuisine grew into existence years ago after the couple had been catering meals for family and friends. “Both of our mothers dabbled in catering when we were growing up. I remember listening to my mother plan out jobs with her business partner, and I would help my job was to wrap the silverware,” said owner, Jess Rich. “When Tom and I met he was cooking meals for the Elks Club he belonged to on a regular basis. Soon Elks members were asking him to cook for their private parties and events. It eventually got to the point where we were doing so many jobs for family and friends we decided to take it to the next level and open a business.”
The business is based out of Floodwood, Minnesota, where the couple own and operate The Event Center, a party, event, and meeting venue in a restored building. “The Event Center building was built in 1918 after the original building was destroyed by fire. We have heard stories that the owners at the time vowed to never be victims of a fire again, so they rebuilt out of brick and concrete. The materials were delivered by rail. The railroad is just about 200 feet from the building. For a long time the location was a mercantile. I remember visiting as a child and buying penny candy or watching the clerks wrap gifts at the gift wrapping station,” shared Jess. “When Tom and I looked at the space it had been vacant for years. We would see it on our walks and comment on what a great place it would be to throw partiers or cater events…and that’s how it all started!”
Jess and Tom keep the business close to home, in fact, they live in an apartment they created above the event center where they live with their children. “When the kids were little they would come down and help set-up or hangout and do homework while we set-up. My 16 and 18 year old boys know how to set a formal table. They also love to give tours of the space. The foundation is a full basement with poured concrete walls which I imagine was quite a job in 1918! People always comment on the Chicago Common brick walls and marvel at the open timber rafters.”
The Rich’s embrace the century old charm of the building, and have made it a beautiful and unique space for events. The duo are also known for their incredible decorating skills – including making a giant tree out of an interior post that was trimmed in different ways for events thought the season – from a spooky centerpiece for the towns Halloween party to a beautiful holiday display for a Christmas event.
The Event Center can hold about 250 guests, but they’ve hosted larger events by adding a tent just outside the door. They also have an on-sale liquor license and soon hope to offer liquor catering as well.
Their catering business serves Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin at any venue, and they can probably serve the largest group of people you can round up. “One memorable event we served was a corporate event for 600 people, with three double-sided buffet lines and a wonderful staff, we were able to serve everyone in 25 minutes.” Their team also has a record of serving 1,300 people in one day across various events. Their most memorable event they catered was their own wedding. For folks who love to feed people it would only make sense they cater their own special day – a polish and Italian feast that took a week to prepare with the help of family and friends.
Even for events with guests numbering in the hundreds, quantity doesn’t compromise their quality. “We make a point to do everything we can to make the planning and decision making process easy for our clients, “ said Jess. “We try to anticipate concerns and questions well ahead of time to put the customer’s mind at ease. We understand that while we plan events on a daily basis, our clients are new to this and it can be intimidating. We clearly communicate expectations between us and the clients. Delivering quality products in the most professional manner is of the utmost importance.”
How do they know when an event is a success? “As silly as it sounds, a clean plate is a very good indicator the meal was delicious,” answered Jess.
Their menus span from lunch-friendly pulled pork, meatballs, and pasta to wedding fare of aged roast beef, baked ham, and Parmesan chicken, as well as premium offerings like stuffed pork tenderloin, baked salmon, or smoked beef brisket. “Tom’s aged roast beef is by far the most popular menu item. It’s full of flavor and fork tender,” said Jess.
Their porketta has also earned a following for its unique blend of spices. “Tom and his brother made up a batch of porketta spice for a special event. It was the best spice rub and everyone raved about the meat. They had made a pretty big batch of the mix and it lasted for several jobs. When we got to about the last cup or so we realized no one had written down the recipe!” shared Jess. “We remembered which spices we used, but not the quantity of each. So we took that last remaining sample and painstakingly separated each piece out under a microscope according to size and color to identify them. We were able to extrapolate and calculate the recipe from the little piles of spices we’d made!”
Their catering options are delicious and affordable. Their lunch menu ranges from $9-$13 with a $9 pasty special that includes the pasty, gravy, vegetable, coleslaw, and a cookie. Their wedding menu starts at $15.50 per plate.
Savory isn’t the only trick Rich Cuisine has up their sleeves, the couple also own the Wednesday Bakery in Superior, Wisconsin. The bakery is unique in that it’s only open one day each week. “We decided to be open only one day a week because we’re business catering the rest of the week. It’s fun to hear from customers that a trip to the Wednesday Bakery is on their weekly calendar. We always take orders from customers the rest of the week, but the shop is only open one day a week for retail sales,” explained Jess. When it comes to events they will deliver or customers can swing in to pick up items. They make everything from breads to cookies, to muffins, bars and cupcakes. They also design wedding cakes. “I think the secret to our cakes is the buttercream frosting, it’s made from scratch and not too sweet. The recipe took about a year to perfect.”
If you’re hoping for a memorable meal at your next event, trusting Rich Cuisine is any easy decision. From your first connection to the last clean plate picked up, you’ll feel like family and your guests will be wowed. Contact Tom and Jess at Rich Cuisine by calling 218-349-5659 or visiting their website at www.richcuisine.com