Southern Cake Queen
Charlotte, NC (704) 287-8314
Southern Cake Queen travels out of a pink truck — bumble gum pink! The mobile truck services graduation parties, birthdays, weddings, school and corporate events. Get a taste of the treats at South End every Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. or follow the truck on Twitter and Facebook for other locations. The truck can hold over 1,000 cupcakes; the minimum for service is 100. Owner Emma Merisier says she’s looking for a commercial location to mass produce the delicious cakes and service more corporate events. There are 26 cupcake varieties including banana split, 14K, blue velvet, crimson & creme, Paris reneu and summer bliss — to name a few. Customers can select from specialty cakes, like red velvet, carrot cake, coconut pineapple, honey bun, German chocolate and pineapple upside down. But, there’s more. Order gourmet brownies and decorated cookies themed to any occasion.
165 N. Trade St.
Matthews, NC 28105
Sante Restaurant is located in historic downtown Matthews. The French/American cuisine is loved by many in southeast Charlotte. Sante will cater for weddings, parties and events on a small scale. Whether it’s upscale hors d’oeuvres, a buffet or plated dinners, Sante is a full-service caterer. The menu could include salmon, halibut, filet mignon, mini crab cakes or shrimp. Wild mushroom puffed pastries are popular. Mushrooms, fresh herbs and goat cheese from the farmer’s market across the street are blended together and filled in the pastries.
101 W. Worthington Ave., Suite 114
Charlotte, NC 28203
Best Impressions Caterer offers casual dining experiences, such as grill and picnic settings to large-scale, formal company galas. The business encompasses three entities: Byron’s South End, Grill & Picnic and Best Impressions. Byron’s South End is a 4,700-square-foot banquet facility in the restored Nebel Knitting Mill area. The Grill & Picnic services casual backyard dining to large-scale company picnics. This could include barbecues, oyster roasts or low-country boils. Best Impressions caters for many local museums and venues, such as the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.
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2545 Valleyview Drive
Charlotte, NC 28212
Food To Die For is a tour and event catering business founded by Melissa Myer. Her love for food began years before she graduated with a law enforcement degree, which she has never used. A Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales has served her well however. Brilliantly and creatively, she filled the niche to cater to traveling bands and crews performing in Charlotte. For instance, Fleetwood Mac has requested water, apple juice, skim milk, deli meats, a veggie tray and salads for its dressing rooms. For the group’s stay in Charlotte, Myer will prepare breakfast for 70, lunch for 90 and dinner for 120 — with alternative foods for those with allergies. When concerts come around, she puts in a 40-hour work week in two-and-a-half days. Myer also caters for budget-conscious weddings. Throw an idea by her and she’ll come up with a plan.
Stalling’s Rock Store Bar-B-Q
3116 Old Monroe Road
Stallings, NC 28104
People drop by Rock Store Bar-B-Q just to look at the building. Back in 1936, it was a gas station in the southeast part of Charlotte. Then it became a convenience store selling odds and ends and packaged goods. When customers come in for the pork BBQ or ribs, they might share a story from those days. The catering menu includes $7 plates of wood-smoked pork or pulled chicken, a sandwich bun, baked beans and coleslaw, sauces, forks, plates and napkins. The Rock Store has serviced events for up to 450 people. People say the cornbread and banana pudding are special. The pork is the most popular item, cooking up over 1,500 pounds per week. The Rock Store caters for receptions, picnics, office parties, graduations and more.
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Catherine Lash engagingly connects with people. She has learned that interested listening and thoughtful questioning are the means through which collaboration creates a story. She grew up traveling the world and learning military life in an Air Force family of seven. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and three kids. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.