Are you looking for a very specific menu item for your wedding? Want to use Grandma’s recipes for your entree? Think there is nothing different in the Corridor for catering options? Wrong.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of a personal tasting at the Bread Garden Market in Iowa City with their lovely Catering Director, Cara. I have to tell you, I was blown away! The amazing Hummus Wraps and Salmon Pate Cups would have been enough to have me singing their praises. But there was much more! Rotisserie chicken to die for, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, Roasted Red Pepper Tomato soup, and oh the bread… To top it all off, Chef made us some cake and I had to force myself to put my fork down.
The tasting included their most popular dishes, but those options are the tip of the iceberg for this vendor. Let me tell you, anything you envision they can make happen. Whether you are looking for your engagement party, shower, rehearsal or reception, you definitely need to meet with BGM. Without further ado, here’s a bit from Bread Garden Market’s Cara.
Please tell me a bit about Bread Garden Market and what sets you apart from other caterers in the area.
Bread garden started 15 yeras ago in the location now occupied by Hot House Yoga. We’ve always been a community hub for fresh, made from scratch food and pastries, supplying a very large number of Iowa City restaurants with their breads, pastas, and/or desserts. About 5 years ago, we were given the opportunity to take over the now market and expand our restaurant services into a full scale gourmet grocer and large scale caterer.
Our experience not only branches from the 15 years in business, but from the other restaurants in our group, “Fresh Food Concepts”, which now include Mondo’s, Joseph’s, Saloon and formerly Givanni’s and Micky’s, giving us a heads up on working with different styles of foods and wants from our patrons. We are able to cater ANY type of meal; we are not a place that is limited to our menu. We will cater to any palate and customize for each and every client.
Do you specialize in any particular genre or style of food?
We pride ourselves on being able to provide our customers with any type of meal or cuisine that their heart desires. We never want to limit ourselves as a one style place. That being said, we could say that we love Italian food around here. We make all of our own fresh pastas, sauces, cannolis, tiramisu, Italian sausage and much more. Of course, we also have a large selection of daily fresh baked breads.
Many wedding guests these days have food allergies, are you experienced in handling those?
Absolutely. We have prepared meals for gluten free, nut free and many others.
Are you open and willing to use a family recipe provided by the couple?
Yes and we are happy to do so! BGM has even used a client’s farm fresh eggs and produce to prepare dishes for them. How awesome is that?! Talk about personal!
Of course, your chefs use fresh ingredients. Are they primarily local or do you source from anywhere?
We buy local whenever we can and during primary growing season (May – October), we are fully stocked with local ingredients. During the winter months, our sourcing is not always available locally for our high volume needs, but we get what we can. Also, as a gourmet grocer, we source from overseas for our international products.
Do you provide alcohol and bar staff? Wait staff also?
Yes, we have a full liquor license and a full wait staff and bar-tending staff. We only sell wine and beer in the store, but can cater liquor offsite.
As a caterer, what is your favorite part of a wedding?
From a catering standpoint, I love seeing guests take a first bite of food and then nod their head yes. That’s when I know I’ve done a good job. Along with that, the rapport I build with the bride and groom is so rewarding. I always get hugs from my clients after the wedding because they feel so happy and taken care of.
What is the most creative wedding that you’ve catered?
Last year we did a wedding with “His” and “Hers” buffets. They were two completely different styles of food on each buffet and it was really fun to see the guests enjoy both types. Plus, it makes it even more personalized for the bride and groom.
We can provide any experience you want. Want a casual picnic style wedding? We can do it. Want a top of the line porterhouse steak and fresh seafood bar? We can do it, and actually are in September! Want a mashed potato bar? Already done it, can do it again! The sky is the limit with us.
If you are looking for a completely personalized menu and one on one experience with your caterer, please call Cara Viner at the Bread Garden. I promise you, it will be as simple or extravagant as you want, plus some. They truly have amazing food and wonderful staff. Not to mention, they also do desserts and wedding cakes if you envision a dessert bar and want a one stop shop for all of your food and beverages.