Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We Feed People, a Catering Epiphany

I love January. In Texas it is pretty much all we get as far as winter is concerned. Just enough to say we did it and long enough to be glad it is over with. January is also low season in the catering business. It is the month where J-BAR-H books 30% of our business and cooks 5% of it. So needless to say we have a lot of time on our hands to think about the year ahead. We will feed about 40,000 people this year through company picnics, weddings, corporate catering, church events and private parties. We spend this time of year coming up with better ways to add value and meaning to that one point in time where those 40,000 people's lives and ours come in contact.

So I am sitting here in my shorts shivering at the brutal 50 degree Texas winter days and thinking what is it that we do here at J-BAR-H? I mean really. It got my inner existentialist thinking and wondering at the meaning of it all. We are a catering company. We are an event planner. We help brides realize their dream weddings, but what does it all mean? At the end of the day what have we done? And then it hit me...we feed people. Pretty simple statement and clearly a matter of fact, but it is more than that for us...I mean, certainly we feed people, we are a caterer for crying out loud. But what we do is more than just bring food to an event, we nourish peoples bodies and provide a catalyst for fellowship. And as a company we have committed to feeding those who can't get a good meal on their own through missionary organizations and ministries which feed not only the bodies of the people, but their spirits. And further, we develop our people in their professional skillsets as well as their personal growth. So when it hit me that the essence of what we do is feeding people it was quite an epiphany...

For those of you who know don't know how this company came into existence, it was through church ministry. We were asked to join a project 6 years ago for a church and as they say...the rest is history. At every single turn we have been able to see God's hand in what we do. From our fantastic growth to the limitations placed in front of us, we believe our company has a purpose beyond building shareholder value...we build value into every person our company touches.
I am humbled to be able to make a living doing what I love, and to take that very same thing and make people happy. I love seeing people eating food they love and J-BAR-H loves making it and serving it to them. Even though we are faceless in 90% of the events that we do, we see the smiles and take everyone of them home with us.
Do you do what you love? If it is possible, I encourage you to start over and work from your purpose. My purpose is feeding people. What's yours?

1 comment:

  1. John: thanks for sharing your road to catering with us. I knew there was something about you!

    I feel lucky that I am also doing something that serves the greater good, allows me to live my own ethics, uses the talent that was divinely given and often puts me in a position to help people in need, be they clients, folks who need jobs or to help feed those in need. I also feel fortunate to come into people’s lives in a safe way to speak to them about what sparks their passion and encourage everyone to follow it. Passion first, cash last. It’s nice when the buckarooskis are rolling in but at lean times like these it is our passion that will sustain and move us.

    On a different note, how did the Caesar dressing redo go?