Breckenridge catering kitchen looks for new tenants, renters | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge catering kitchen looks for new tenants, renters

Rich and Cara Miller knew cooking had become an honorary member of the family when their 8-year-old daughter begged for a brother.

"We used to call the kitchen Ava's big brother," Cara, co-owner with her husband of All Seasons Catering, said with a laugh. "She used to say, 'Mom and Dad, I want a brother,' and we'd say, 'Well, you already have one.'"

It's no wonder the kitchen is Ava's only sibling for the moment. The Millers are busier than ever. Over 12 years, they have turned All Seasons into one of the fastest-growing event and catering services in Summit County. The two called a Dillon-based commercial kitchen, where they invested $35,000 in equipment upgrades, their family's home away from home. And over the past five seasons, the company's client list has grown by leaps and bounds: bridal planners during the summer, the Breckenridge Stables in winter, even the Summit County jail during a recent remodel that left its kitchen out of commission for several weeks. Cara claims their business grew by 30 percent when their largest Breckenridge competitor, Harvest Catering, went under in 2011.

Last October, the Millers moved from Dillon to Breckenridge and took over a large, fully stocked commercial kitchen on Airport Road. The space is owned by Dick Carleton, who also owns Mi Casa and Hearthstone restaurants, and although it has changed hands several times since it was built in 1999, it has sat vacant for the last three years.

For Rich, it was a sterling opportunity as his business continues to grow.

"This is what we needed for the size of our business and what we want to do, how we're growing," says Rich. "We wanted to give ourselves the opportunity to get larger, but I'm a chef. This is where I belong, in a kitchen, and this is a fantastic one."

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In a small-town twist, the couple's new space is the very one once occupied by Harvest Catering.

Cooking for all

As the All Seasons chef, Rich is welcoming the new space with open arms.

He plans and prepares most meals solo, with only a touch of help from two or three assistants. In winter, he spends four hours in the kitchen every morning, prepping pasta, salad and finger foods for the relatively laid-back dinner services at Breckenridge Stables. There are three services almost daily during the season, but by now, Rich has the routine down to a science.

"This job is about planning, it's logistics," says Rich, who has been a professional chef for more than 15 years. "That's the only way to make things move smoothly."

And Breckenridge Stables is just one client. Come summertime, his days are even longer, and the new kitchen space will open up new possibilities for meal planning and client meetings.

That's where Cara comes in. She's the All Seasons marketing mind, the public face to her husband's behind-the-scenes chef, and she hopes the larger kitchen will help boost business. Rich first sought the larger space to have room for a baker — in-house wedding cakes are one of the few services All Seasons doesn't offer — but Cara has turned it into a combination showroom, planning office and tasting bar.

Take an average wedding meeting. When clients select a menu — say, the $17.95 per person pasta bar, or the $40 per plate prime rib dinner — Rich can whip up samples while Cara goes over logistics for the day of the wedding. As Cara and the couple finish, Rich can serve samples at the prep station, just steps from where he cooked them.

"By having a kitchen that's big enough to rent out, we become a one-stop shop," says Cara, who often helps clients plan every portion of their event from start to finish. "You don't have to walk around town to find your bar, find your flowers, find your cake. If we don't have it, we can point you in the right direction."

But the new Breckenridge kitchen is almost too big for All Seasons. After moving in, the Millers decided to open the space to other private chefs, bakers and catering outfits across the county.

"I don't mind the competition when it comes to food," Rich says. "I love cooking with other people and seeing what they can do."

Katy Pierson, a baker and owner of the Breckenridge wedding cake service Sugar, was the first tenant to set up shop. She doesn't spend much time in the kitchen during winter — she spends the cold months planning and meeting with clients — but come summer, she'll spend upwards of 10 to 15 hours in the kitchen, usually six days per week. And she already looks forward to having a large, quiet, convenient space.

"It's great to have something right there in town," says Pierson, a Blue River resident who previously worked out of a commercial kitchen in Silverthorne. "It's also nice that I have my own area. It's quiet, it's not super hectic, and as of right now it's just easy."

Pierson isn't sure if new tenants this summer will change the atmosphere, but the Millers are dedicated to working only with reliable clients. Rich is a self-professed clean freak, and there's space for just four additional tenants: two bakers and two hot line chefs.

"We like to work with people who are similar to us," Cara says. "The people we're looking for are chefs and bakers who know what they're doing, who can work well in a shared kitchen."

After all, that's Ava's brother.

All Seasons Catering

Phone: 970-468-7414

Mailing address: PO Box 517, Silverthorne, CO 80498

Kitchen address: 1745 Airport Rd., Breckenridge, CO 80424 (found behind the Breckenridge FIRC thrift store)

Kitchen amenities: Gas power, two large walk-in freezers, 11 ovens (including three convection), full commissary kitchen, loading dock, full hood system, two parking spaces

Sample kitchen rates: $1,000 per month, $250 per week, $18.50 per hour (call to arrange custom rates)

For details on kitchen rentals or event planning, see the All Seasons website at http://www.allseasonscateringllc.com.