Hearthstone Catering sells
After owning Hearthstone Catering for 18 years, Dick Carleton and Alexandra Storm didn’t want to hand it over to just anyone. So, for the past couple of years, they’ve been looking for the right buyer.Monday, they finalized a deal to sell Hearthstone Catering to longtime local John Cooney.Cooney spent a year ski bumming and working at Spencer’s Steaks and Spirits in Breckenridge in 1985, then returned to live in Summit County full time with his wife in 1997. His family started a catering business in New York, where he grew up, in 1985, and he is now the president and owner of that business, Lake Isle Country Club Caterers. He also owns Abby Hall in Breckenridge and the old mining town of Dry Gulch, where he hosts weddings.Last September, Carleton approached Cooney about purchasing Hearthstone Catering, thinking it would match well with events held at Dry Gulch. Cooney sees the catering company as an opportunity to assist the growing trend of “green,” or environmentally friendly, weddings; he plans on offering more locally produced and organic foods.”John is a great fit,” added Carleton. “He is determined to maintain Hearthstone Catering’s strong reputation while introducing some new concepts designed to further the business opportunities for the new company. Our clients are in excellent hands.”Cooney has changed the Hearthstone Catering name to Harvest Catering, but he has retained the majority of the staff. “Our employees have been the cornerstone of our catering business for the past 18 years,” Carleton said. “We can’t thank them enough for their dedication and inspiration. We also want to thank our clients.”Carleton wished to sell the catering company mostly because its busy season coincided with the summer vacations of his kids.”I have 6-year-old twins and a 9-year-old, and I want to be involved in their lives as they grow up,” he said. “It really is as simple as that. It was an extremely fun and rewarding run of over 18 years, but I really look forward to having more time for family, particularly during the summer.”
Carleton and Storm will continue to own and operate Mi Casa (which they opened in 1981) and The Hearthstone (opened in 1989). Two key members of the Hearthstone Catering family, Jennifer Cawley and Brooke Shotts, remain with Carleton as he turns his focus solely to restaurant operations. “Alexandra and I have been business partners for over 28 years and look forward to many years to come,” Carleton said. “There is no change to either restaurant, other than me having a little more time to focus on them.”Hearthstone Restaurant, with executive chef Michael Halpin at the helm, continues its focus on local and regional cuisine and products.At Mi Casa, look for new menu options from executive chef Paul Gannett’s numerous trips to different regions of Mexico. Rest assured, the restaurant’s list of over 100 tequilas will continue to be a highlight of the experience.
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