Harvest caters to locals’ lunches
summit daily news
Harvest Catering has been one of visitors’ and businesses’ favorite places to order food for large gatherings for years. Hearthstone Catering set the standards, and when John Cooney purchased the catering staple a year ago, he continued the tradition of excellence Dick Carleton and Alexandra Storm had started.
Now, he’s taking it to the next level by offering lunches aimed at locals, and the best part is: The food is inexpensive AND high quality.
Every day, Harvest Catering, tucked away on Airport Road, serves a Redbird Natural chicken leg quarter with homemade chipolte barbecue sauce and rice and black beans for only $5. Guests can add an extra chicken portion for $2.
Mondays through Fridays, which are the days Harvest Catering currently offers its carryout lunch menu, the specials change (see box). The price of $6.45 includes one side (black beans, rice, French fries, coleslaw, potato salad or garden veggie pasta salad) and water or soda. The to-go menu also offers desserts (cookies, brownies, to-die-for hot apple crisp, harvest trail mix and a harvest granola bar) and a soup of the day.
“That means workers, visitors and locals can enjoy homemade meals with the convenience of Airport Road. We have great parking, our business is local, and (there’s) no need to fight the traffic on Main Street or City Market,” Cooney said. “The food is great … as only Harvest Catering can do.”
Harvest began its to-go menu Dec. 15, and without advertising, word’s already spread. However, operations manager Mark Foster said he plans to advertise in local media outlets.
“I’m kinda scared to (advertise) because I have the feeling once it gets out, we really need to be ready,” Foster said. “I think it will be very popular.”
Nevertheless, he plans to keep the price point the same, rather than jack it up because of high demand.
The winter menu features “warm comfort food geared toward people who don’t have time (to make a meal),” Foster said.
Chef Bruce Carlton wants to add more vegetarian friendly dishes, Foster said, adding, “he’s really picky – he really just likes making good food.”
Carlton’s goal is to offer “not just affordable, but fresh-made (food), using good ingredients and keeping it quick,” he said, adding that guests will only have to wait five or 10 minutes at the most – less if it’s a dish like meatloaf or lasagna. He’ll also adjust his menu offerings based on customer feedback. Specials will change seasonally, with summer providing lighter dishes.
Ultimately, Foster will consider opening on Saturdays and Sundays, though on weekends, the catering business takes over.
For the folks at Harvest, making daily lunches seemed to be the next logical step.
“It was one of those things – we probably have the best kitchen in the county; it’s huge and clean, and we were only using half or three-quarters of the year,” Foster said. “This helps employees generate more business and creates more revenue (and employment opportunities).”
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