Farm-to-Table Events with Crave Catering

Crave Catering is a Bellingham-based catering business with a focus on local, chef-inspired food for all manner of events: intimate and large-scale weddings; reception celebrations; benchmark occasions; corporate events; non-profit functions; general family dining; and more.  

Kimberly Anderson, Crave’s general manager, shares how Crave has evolved over the years to be the pinnacle of farm-to-table fare it is now. “Crave started in 2008 out of necessity. That was the recession, and four friends were dealing with job loss. All of them had a background in food and beverage and were looking to make money during a hard time. Since then, Crave has grown so much. A lot of choices in the beginning were made out of necessity, but then it got to the point where we could make decisions that were important to us. Sustainable practices and healthy food sources are so intrinsically important to our team, and those have guided a lot of our choices over the last number of years.”  

Anderson notes how the abundance of the region contributes to the flavor and creativity of Crave’s food. “We live in such an amazing area, with so much access to wonderful ingredients and beautiful seafood. There are local ranchers for people who eat meat, and we’re trying harder with our profit margins to make local sourcing work. We’re choosing to partner with local farmers, fishermen, and ranchers, and trying to educate our clients on why those sustainable practices are so important.”  

The quality of Crave’s cuisine brings back repeat clients. “They trust us to provide unique menus that are very seasonal,” Anderson says. “That gives us a lot of freedom and flexibility to choose seasonal fare. If it’s summertime, we have so much more access to local ingredients, but even in winter we have beautiful things that come out of gardens. I love those moments when we can make hyper-local menus for clients. I order a lot of things through the Puget Sound Food Hub, and at the Eat Local First Trade Meeting I met the woman who grows edible flowers for me, as well as a gentleman I’m buying beautiful king salmon from. It’s so wonderful to have this relationship with the people who grow and catch our food. It makes me a little teary sometimes, to feel like I’m making a good impact on someone else’s livelihood, and that the choices I make for my clients are helping families be sustainable in our area.” 

Catering is a special business model, as Anderson shares. “Catering often gets lumped in with restaurants,” she says. “They’re very different. With catering, we’re building a unique restaurant experience for every client.” 

Anderson recalls a particular event several years ago that reminded her of how rewarding this industry can be. “We catered an incredibly small, intimate wedding for a couple in their seventies. They were married to other partners for years, lost them, and then found this second love story. It was so rewarding to be able to build a lovely menu just for them and their guests. At the end of the night, I was doing a walk-through, and saw just the two of them slow dancing, him singing to her. To share in that intimate moment was so special. We had worked with them from start to finish, talking to them about food that was important to them, handpicking the fish they ate, placing the edible flowers on their salad.” 

Crave’s events highlight the growing interest in local food and the folks who steward these lands and seas. “I’m excited that there’s a trend of people trying to rediscover where their food comes from. It’s becoming more and more important to people. They’re desiring, especially in this area around Whatcom and Skagit, to know who’s growing their food, who raised the chicken they’re eating. It makes my job more exciting. I love this area!”  

Learn more about Crave Catering, and the farm-to-table fare they craft, here.