Q - When did you start your business?
A - We founded Center Stage Catering, Inc. in the Spring of 2001, where we rented a small commercial kitchen in Ferrum, Virginia. After 3 years of hard work, good luck, sleepless nights, strategic planning & proper planetary alignment, our business grew and Center Stage Catering moved to its new home in Historic Downtown Rocky Mount, Virginia. Our 10,000 S.F. property houses the corporate office, and our 3000 S.F. Commercial Commissary, and soon-to-be outdoor live-fire kitchen dining concept/restaurant.
Q - Tell us more about you.
A - We are "high school sweethearts" and share the same Birthday (same year too!) We both graduated from the University of Kentucky and made our way to Virginia with a job transfer. We instantly fell in love with the mountains and the people. We have been married for 33 years...our lifestyle is formed around an intense love for art, music, food & each other! We have (2) boys ... Max is 29 years old and Eli is 24 years old...both are free spirits and have an incredible love for life! We also live in a "small slice of heaven" nestled in the hills of Franklin County...with 3 dogs, 1 cat, an Indian Runner Duck, two Farm geese, a snake, a deck toad & that's on a slow night!!!! :-)
Q - What would you say is your biggest strength?
A - Our Team! We are blessed to have the most wonderful, diverse, hard-working individuals in our CSC Family. They are set on a journey of continuous learning and growth. Everyone involved with the cooking and preparation of food at Center Stage Catering, Inc. is either a graduate of culinary school or a currently enrolled student. 100% of our full-time culinary staff is serve safe food production manager certified. In addition, they are also professionally certified through the American Culinary Federation, with annual goals for continued growth. Our team loves what they do. They revel in the simple processes of do things right, which usually translates into the ‘long, hard way’.
Q - How do you stay motivated?
A - Traveling abroad ... in support of all things Culinary. This continues to connect our team to the pulse of the world-wide culinary industry.
Q - What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your business?
A - Short and Simple ... do it the right way, or don’t do it at all.
Q - If the apocalypse fell upon the world tomorrow, how long do you think you would survive?
A - Well, it kind of did in 2020. We all experienced it. We all were devastated by it. It’s STILL tough, but as we look back, we are proud that we did not furlough anyone. We were able to keep our core staff together and come out on the other side more connected with our employees and our community.
Product Photos: Eli Schopp