Most Frequent Full-Service Caterers at French’s Point in 2018

Did you know that you can choose your own wedding vendor team at French’s Point?  You select the vendors that align with your vision, budget and priorities. In Maine, we are blessed with an incredibly talented, robust, dedicated, hardworking community of caterers who offer a vast range in service styles and price points. We often get the question, “Which caterers are most familiar with French’s Point?” Every year we have the opportunity to team up with new-to-us caterers, but we thought it would be helpful for you to see which full service caterers most frequently helped our couples have such incredible celebrations here in 2018:

Bar Harbor Catering Co.

Churchill Caterers

Dandelion Catering Co.

Stone Cove Catering

Trillium Caterers

Thank you to all of our amazing catering friends from the 2017 season. We look forward to working with you next year!

Photography by Fidelio

A Sweet Summer Wedding in June

Carolyn & TJ

Saturday, June 10, 2017

As we begin to shift our focus to the year ahead and another wedding season of hosting beautiful milestone celebrations for our guests here at French’s Point, we can’t help but reminisce on some of the beautiful weekends and guests we hosted here on the shores of Penobscot Bay this past season.

The early-summer wedding of Carolyn and TJ remains a highlight of the summer for our tiny team. This elegant wedding included a guests list of kind, loving and thoughtful family and friends that traveled from near and far to celebrate with the happy couple. The weather that day could not have been more blessed.

In short, it was the ideal summer day for a wedding; perfectly suited to this wonderful duo. Carolyn and TJ, with help from their wedding planner, Kristin, at Beehive Creative worked to ensure the details of the event came together seamlessly and with the help of Trillium Catering, guests were well fed, always had a drink in hand, and a smile on their face. I recall being struck by the laughter and revelry which floated on the breeze along with the sweet smell of beach rose.

“I recall being struck by the laughter and revelry which floated on the breeze along with the sweet smell of beach rose.” – Jessika Brooks-Brewer

We are excited to see what the future brings this wonderful couple and were beyond honored to host and serve them here at French’s Point where they got their start in life as a married couple.

Carolyn & TJ’s Vendor Team:

  • Bar Services: Trillium Catering
  • Catering: Trillium Catering
  • Ceremony and Cocktail Music: Unknown
  • Ceremony Venue: French’s Point Waterfront Gazebo
  • Design and Styling: N/A
  • Dessert: Trillium Catering
  • Dinner and Dancing Entertainment: Double Platinum Celebrations
  • DJ: DJ Chris – Double Platinum Celebrations
  • Month of Coordinator: Beehive Creative
  • Favors: N/A
  • Fireworks: N/A
  • Floral Design: Broadturn Farm
  • Hair: Glow Salon – Kim
  • Makeup: Glow Salon – Katie
  • Officiant: Kat Logan – Friend of the Couple
  • Photo Booth: Maine to Boston Photo Booth Rental
  • Photography: Ramble Free Photo Co. – Hannah
  • Reception Venue: French’s Point Sailcloth Tent
  • Rentals: One Stop Event Rentals and  French’s Point
  • Transportation: Bo Mar Transportation and Field of Greens (Limo)
  • Videography: N/A

5 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Caterer

At French’s Point, we understand that our couples are seeking customized, meaningful, personal celebrations. For this reason, we encourage you to assemble your own dream team of wedding vendors to create the event that brings your wedding dream to life. Your wedding caterer is a key member of your wedding team. Food is a very memorable part of the wedding experience for you and your guests. The food and drink for your wedding reception will probably consume a large portion of your wedding budget, so you want to invest this money wisely. Remember, these costs compound with each guest you include in your celebration.

For couples new to planning an event like a wedding, catering costs can be a bit challenging to untangle because each caterer frames their pricing differently and includes different items in the standard pricing.

For couples new to planning an event like a wedding, catering costs can be a bit challenging to untangle because each caterer frames their pricing differently and includes different items in the standard pricing. Many include a cost of food in the “per-person” price of the food and will charge separately for staff/service, tax, gratuity, rentals and administrative fees, while for other caterers the “per-person” cost includes these additional fees. This makes it very difficult to really get a handle on the total costs and make an apples-to-apples comparison between providers.

The top 5 questions you should ask your wedding caterer.

1.  Do you have the necessary licenses required by the State and Town where we’re hosting our celebration?

It is important for you to know if your caterer has the proper permits to provide service at the venue hosting your event. You can also ask the venue for a list of the required licenses and permits. You can get this information at the city hall or town office where you’re getting married. Ask your caterer for a copy of the permits and licenses to keep with your wedding contract.

2.  Do you have full liability insurance and liquor liability insurance if you’re providing alcohol for my events?

As the host of the celebration, making sure that your caterer has sufficient liability coverage is crucial in limiting your own liability exposure. This is an even more significant issue if your caterer is providing alcohol and service for your events. Ask for a copy of their insurance policy for your file and be sure to check effective dates.

3.  What is your specialty and your preferred format of service style? What makes you special?

You want to be sure you are interviewing caterers that can provide your preferred style of service (buffet, sit-down dinner, etc.) effectively and that the quality of the food is in line with your vision as well. Not all caterers provide the same style of service or excel in the same areas of foodservice. Asking them upfront what their specialty is can be a very helpful tool in determining if your principals and vision align with theirs.

4.  Are you a full-service caterer?

At venues such as ours, a “Blank Canvas Venue” which allows you to choose your own catering partner, it is a key element of success to be certain that the caterer will not only provide excellent food but that they will provide the staffing and service to handle the set-up of the reception rentals as well as clean-up of the catering and foodservice rentals at your event. For instance, food trucks are a recent trend at weddings and they can be fun, but some food truck caterers don’t include set-up, bussing, or break-down of rentals in their services. The same is true of a more traditional caterer. Food is only part of the equation. Service, in my opinion, is equally or more important than the food itself in the overall experience the caterer is providing to you and your guests.

5.  What is the average price range for your service at my venue and does it include food, service, staff, rentals, tax, gratuity, travel and all other fees?

Catering companies all structure their costs differently. As we mentioned above, some caterers will lump related costs (food, beverage, service) together under a per-guest price. Other companies will give you a per-guest price for food and/or beverage and then a flat fee for service/staff and another flat fee for rentals. Almost always, these costs are pre-tax, which is 7% on food and bar products only (service, rentals, or other service charges are not subject to tax) and pre-gratuity, which is typically 15-22% in Maine on the food and beverage costs only (there should not be gratuity on service, rentals, travel fees or other service charges).

Another key element in your overall catering cost is rentals. Will your caterer need to rent service trays, tray jacks, water pitchers, salt and pepper shakers, coffee station supplies, plates, silverware, linens and glassware or other catering equipment to provide your chosen meal in your chosen setting? This can be a significant and key contributing cost for your event so do not overlook it!

To ensure you partner with the very best caterer for your wedding, I cannot stress enough the importance of gathering clear information from the caterers you are considering. You want to avoid surprises, so ask these key questions before hiring your wedding caterer so you know exactly what to expect on the wedding day.

By Jessika Brooks-Brewer, French’s Point Owner

Have more questions about this important topic or ready to book your tour? Contact us, we’re here to help!

Featured photo by Darling Photography.

Vendor Spotlight: Fire and Company Wood Fired Catering

French’s Point Estate is thrilled to continue our series of blog posts spotlighting amazing Maine wedding vendors that help to make weddings at our waterfront wedding venue not only successful but truly the embodiment of the experience our clients strive to craft for their family and friends. This series will showcase some of the best providers from our vibrant, talented, dedicated wedding industry community we are so proud to be a part of here in Maine and New England. This group of professional wedding vendors understands and adheres to our guiding principles for the service we endeavor to provide our clients: Be Responsive, Be Kind, Provide Excellent Customer Service, Provide the Very Best Product/Service. Because of these wonderful people, the celebrations here are French’s Point Estate are the stuff of which dreams are made!

There are a handful of wedding vendors in Maine so committed to excellence that they really stand out. Ryan Carey from Fire & Company Wood Fired Catering and his team exemplify quality customer service; beautifully prepared food and a can-do, positive attitude that makes wedding a day a joy, not just for the wedding couple and their guests but for the entire vendor team. We collaborated with Ryan recently for the Maine Wedding Cooperative Harvest Dinner at William Allen Farm and are excited to be teaming up with him at French’s Point this summer. Our confidence in his ability to provide our discerning clients with a hearty meal that’s professionally prepared is well placed. Fire & Company boasts wonderful reviews from past clients and it’s no wonder since they can customize a meal for a range of budgets and styles. Their menu is impressive but not stuffy; creative and interesting, but not requiring a lofty budget. Have a see for yourself why Fire & Company is one of the most popular and fastest growing catering companies in Maine!

What inspired your passion for catering?

To be completely honest, my background is in sales and events, not cooking. But I have spent all of my life in the hospitality industry. From my background in the Portland restaurant scene I have been fortunate enough to bring on industry professionals to help with the different aspects of Fire and Company. We have fantastic chefs, and front of house and bar managers to ensure our events are a huge success.  Back when I was working in restaurants I was a bartender. I loved engaging with customers and making sure they were having a great time, and that desire to create a fun and memorable experience for my clients is what inspired my passion for catering.

What food items would you suggest to a client hosting a destination wedding in Maine?

I say this all of the time but, I truly believe if you are hosting a wedding in Maine , especially on the coast, our Mini Buttered Lobster Rolls are a must. Lightly toasted and filled with Maine Lobster then topped with a Cape Cod Potato Chip. Adds a little salty crunch.  Also, for a main course we offer a wood fired lobster bake that is cooked over our open flamed grills. Our chef has an extensive background working at one of the premier seafood restaurants in Southern Maine and has strong relationships with local lobsterman. Our wood fired lobster bake features lobster that has literally been taken off the boat that morning.

Please describe your ideal client.

We’ve been fortunate enough to have wonderful clients. Our couples want their food and beverages to be a big part of their wedding day and we take that very seriously. With that said, our ideal clients are enthused about an event with great food, drinks, music and people. More of a celebration than a structured, buttoned up wedding.

How would you describe your wedding fare and service style?

We focus on comfort food; food that is approachable and laid back and is presented well and tastes outstanding. Our service style falls into the same category.  We are happy to serve food in either a buffet or family style setting (large platters of food passed around the tables), but we do not serve plated dinners. Our overall goal is to create an experience for the guests and we find that interacting with them is a fantastic way to impact their evening. Buffet and family style dining has been a great way for our staff to interact and form a relationship with our clients; to make sure their needs are met and found out if there are other ways we can serve them.

Please provide an all inclusive sample menu with pricing per person for hors d’oeuvres and a standard buffet.

FIRE AND COMPANY’S FEAST

Spitfire & Smoked Pig Roast • Spitfire and Smoked Chicken • Rotisserie Prime Rib • Rosemary Grilled Hanger Steak • Smoked Barbecue Short Ribs • Wood Grilled Salmon • Wood Fired Paella

+ 2 Salads
+ 2 Sides

$45 – $75 per person (Choose 1-3 Proteins)

 

Ryan Carey
Fire & Company
434 Woodford Street
Portland, ME 04101
207-299-6995
booking@fireandcompany.com
www.fireandcompany.com

French's Point Vendor Spotlight: Fire & Company Catering French's Point Vendor Spotlight: Fire & Company Catering French's Point Vendor Spotlight: Fire & Company | Ruth Eileen Photography French's Point Vendor Spotlight: Fire & Company Catering French's Point Vendor Spotlight: Fire & Company Catering French's Point Vendor Spotlight: Fire & Company Catering

Vendor Spotlight: Creative Catering

French’s Point Estate is thrilled to continue our series of blog posts spotlighting amazing Maine wedding vendors that help to make weddings at our waterfront wedding venue not only successful but truly the embodiment of the experience our clients strive to craft for their family and friends. This series will showcase some of the best providers from our vibrant, talented, dedicated wedding industry community we are so proud to be a part of here in Maine and New England. This group of professional wedding vendors understands and adheres to our guiding principles for the service we endeavor to provide our clients: Be Responsive, Be Kind, Provide Excellent Customer Service, Provide the Very Best Product/Service. Because of these wonderful people, the celebrations here are French’s Point Estate are the stuff of which dreams are made!

When we think about Creative Catering the first thing that comes to mind is delicious food made with love. Creative Catering’s owner, Eileen Bartlett, is a master at simply scrumptious food.  Eileen was Jessika’s very first boss when she was the dessert waitress at a nearby restaurant at 12 years old! Over the many years that have passed, Creative Catering has become a key vendor team member for our weddings and celebrations here at French’s Point.

Eileen is a trusted and treasured friend. She takes the time to get to know our couples during tastings she sometimes hosts right in her home.  She’s an experienced caterer and it shows during every event when she and her staff produce excellent meals with ease at an incredible value!  They are friendly and down to earth, and we love having them here at the Point! Eileen and her staff go out of their way to lend a hand to other vendors on our clients’ team whenever there is a need that comes up during an event. Because of their incredible customer service and their yummy food at a great value, they are a ‘go-to’ for our own family gatherings. Let us introduce to you to our dear friend, Eileen Bartlett and Creative Catering!

-Sarah Ripley & Jessika Brooks-Brewer, French’s Point

What inspired your passion for catering?

I think my love for food started when I was a young girl. I always enjoyed playing dress up…but with food and dishes! Making food for family and friends was my idea of fun entertaining!

What food items would you suggest to a client hosting a destination wedding in Maine?

Lobster says Maine through and through! Often couples do not want to have the “mess” of  having lobster for their reception dinner, so we offer a lazy lobster, as well as lobster appetizers such as mini lobster salad in our homemade finger rolls; lemon lobster in brioche; shellfish bars with lobster cocktails; or how about lobster chowder? We make the richest, creamiest chowder, with lots of lobster in every bite.

Please describe your ideal client.

I am not sure I have an ideal client. We have worked with so many couples in our 23 years of operating Creative Catering. I think we are remembered for being willing to bend to our couples’ wishes, and for trying to anticipate how we can make this, their special day, the most memorable it can be. It is always a pleasure to get to know our couples through the year-long process of planning their wedding.

How would you describe your wedding fare and service style?

We like our appetizers to be simple and elegant, but yummy! We want our dinners to be pleasant to look at, taste delicious, and provide ample portions. Our Servers are trained to be pleasant, and efficient, as well as knowledgeable about the ingredients in our food.

Please provide an all inclusive sample menu with pricing per person for hors d’oeuvres and a two course seated plated meal.

Mini Toasted Lobster Rolls
Tangy Asian Meatballs wrapped in a pea pod
Artichoke Bruschetta
Blueberry Bliss Salad
Greens with white stilton cheese, fresh blueberries, roasted almonds with
Lemon blueberry balsamic vinaigrette

Raspberry Hazelnut Chicken with raspberry butter sauce
Roasted Baby Red Potatoes
Fresh Haricot Vert
$54.00 per person

Eileen Bartlett
411 Muskrat Farm Rd
Stockton Springs, Maine 04981
ccfoods@fairpoint.net
www.creativecateringmaine.com
 207-567-3563 kitchen
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Vendor Spotlight: Bar Harbor Catering

French’s Point Estate is thrilled to continue our series of blog posts spotlighting amazing Maine wedding vendors that help to make weddings at our waterfront wedding venue not only successful but truly the embodiment of the experience our clients strive to craft for their family and friends. This series will showcase some of the best providers from our vibrant, talented, dedicated wedding industry community we are so proud to be a part of here in Maine and New England. This group of professional wedding vendors understands and adheres to our guiding principles for the service we endeavor to provide our clients: Be Responsive, Be Kind, Provide Excellent Customer Service, Provide the Very Best Product/Service. Because of these wonderful people, the celebrations here are French’s Point Estate are the stuff of which dreams are made!

We have grown very fond of Bar Harbor Catering Company (BHCC) over the last two years. We have had quite a few celebrations and clients in common in this time. They are an excellent partner for our team at French’s Point because we share a service philosophy and their cuisine is ALWAYS wonderful. Owner/Executive Chef, Mandy Fountaine, General Manager Jennifer Wright, and their incredible team of 40+ joyful, hardworking, talented individuals always impresses and exceeds our expectations, and the expectations of our clients.

Mandy founded BHCC in 2009 after 17 years in the local food scene. Her signature style is “Maine Fusion” which is Maine food prepared with influences from Mandy’s extensive international travels. Mandy’s approach to catering is to present Food as Celebration: Good Food for friends and family, to create memories and experiences that people will carry home with them.

BHCC is an outstanding caterer and full service beverage and cuisine provider. They have a fully-insured and licensed bar tending division, in-house wedding cake and baking team, as well as three event planners and day-of coordinators. Currently, they are bringing online “Carbon Kitchen,” a globally inspired BBQ.

If you are looking for a great partner for your wedding team for a celebration from Downeast to Midcoast Maine, take the time to meet our friends Mandy, Jennifer and their team at Bar Harbor Catering Company.

What inspired your passion for catering?

I’ve always fed people–from turning as many elementary school projects as possible into reasons to cook (edible topography cake anyone?); to owning and managing busy restaurants; to feeding my friends around an impromptu bonfire in my backyard. I love the opportunity to create that shared experience among friends and family, where food can transform a get-together into a memory.

It’s also a chance for me to share my memories too, as I tend to cook with what I’m inspired by, whether that’s local ingredients or a style or spice that I picked up while travelling. That, and I’ve always never been able to cook for less than 30 people at any one time!

What food items would you suggest to a client hosting a destination wedding in Maine?

Seafood is an obvious answer and for good reason! It’s hard to be based somewhere like Mount Desert Island and not take advantage of the incredible abundance we have at our doorstep. But what people might not consider is all the small farmers and specialty food producers available in Maine as well. From old-fashioned style churned butter to the best choices of organic produce and humanely raised meats and cheeses — even local honey–we really have it all! I always try to figure out what types of foods a client prefers and work backwards from there creating the menu filled with local treats.

Please describe your ideal client.

Hungry! Well, make that hungry and curious. As a custom caterer, we really enjoy a tremendous amount of creative freedom when working with clients to design menus. It’s really important for us to get to know a couple first, and then start brainstorming with them to tailor each taste and experience that their guest will have at their event.

We’ve incorporated flavors honoring individual’s heritage and have even revived an heirloom family recipe from one bride’s grandmother, but have also incorporated molecular gastronomy, or dramatic staging into the presentation as well. We’re happy to take the lead from the couple, and then go back to the kitchen to experiment and play. Couples that are willing to explore that process with us in the same excited curiosity is always a fun opportunity.

How would you describe your wedding fare and service style?

Our approach to wedding catering has always been to serve foods we would want to eat with service that is exceptional but approachable. We want guests to feel as though their every need is being taken care of, but that they can also relax and enjoy the event. Our staff is trained and comfortable to handle the most casual style of service, all the way up through the most intricate.

Because of my restaurant background, we approach catering fare as you would in any busy, high-end restaurant, but the bonus for us is that each event is totally customizable. We’re currently working on creating a Disney themed menu for a couple who adores everything Disney. We also just did an enchanting evening in an historic garden, with each course served in surprise locations throughout an estate’s elaborate sprawling garden.

Right now I’m personally in love with stations, and I think that’s because I always want to try a little of this and a little of that. I think it’s a fun chance to provide variety in your menu and to engage your guests with the food. We’re doing everything from a hand carved tacos al pastor station to our riff on ramen – a faux pho station. Basically, we serve wedding food for foodies!

Please provide an all inclusive sample menu with pricing per person for hors d’oeuvres and a two course seated plated meal.

This is a great summer menu that comes in around $93 per person with fees, gratuity and taxes.

P A S S E D A P P E T I Z E R S
Elote Style Corn Fritter
Crispy corn fritter topped with chipotle remoulade, queso fresco and cilantro

Brie and Blueberry Poptart with Thyme
Our all butter pastry crust filled with wild Maine blueberries, rich brie and fresh thyme

Mini Lobster Cone
Fresh Maine lobster with a hint of lemon in a hand rolled chive studded cone

F A M I L Y S T Y L E D I N N E R
Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad
Ripe heirloom tomatoes, with purple basil, fresh buffalo mozzarella, aged white balsamic, spanish olive oil, & flaked sea salt

Porchetta
Slow roasted pork wrapped with fennel, orange & garlic, served with pickled onions, Italian salsa verde & slow roasted garlic chili sauce

Rustic Vegetable Tart
Seasonal garden vegetables layered then baked with boursin cheese & fresh herbs

D E S S E R T
Zeppole
Airy Italian doughnuts dusted in cinnamon-sugar & served with dulce de leche

Jennifer Wright
Bar Harbor Catering
www.barharborcateringcompany.com
jennifer@barharborcatering.com

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All Photos by Closer North Photography
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