By Janet Stoica
From well-known casino restaurants to area catering companies, Renee Berube, owner of Working Girl Catering Service, has been there and done that.
“When I was 15 years old, I began working for a local catering service,” said Renee. “Since then I’ve worked for many restaurants, from famous high-end eateries to pizza parlors but there’s one thing I’ve learned---and that’s to focus on one thing and to do it well. My staff and I strive for the best experience with all our customers, any event, any size, and any time.”
Renee’s company name refers to the fact that when she decided to open her own catering business, she literally did it all---from locating a function hall to hiring staff to cooking the food and setting up the dining areas of the facility to delivering the food piping hot. Was she the chief cook and bottle washer? It’s true.
Her catering service and storefront are located at 142 School Street in Putnam, Connecticut, and now offer daily lunch and dinner specials for anyone who would like a sandwich or hot meal. Yes, you can just park in their large lot and walk in to order a sandwich, wrap, or a full-course dinner.
Calling ahead is a good thing too and all will be ready for you when you enter their store: 860- 412-9365. Email is fine as well: [email protected] The store hours are: Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., and closed on Sundays except for special events.
“We’re very accommodating,” Renee said. “Customer service is our number one priority. In the springtime, we may open an outdoor patio with seating. Everyone enjoys the outdoor experience and we’d like to give this a try. Our everyday foods include sandwiches like chicken Caesar wraps, Italian combo sandwiches, and deli sandwiches on bulkie rolls.”
By the way, here’s an interesting bit of information learned while speaking with Renee: ordering a “wrap” sandwich is not necessarily a better dietary choice than having that sandwich made with a bulkie roll if you’re watching your calories. Wraps, which are usually made with oil to give them a better taste, may have as much as 400 calories each while those chubby-looking bulkie rolls have lots of air in them to make them bulkie but might only carry half the calories,
“We’re committed to as much farm-to-table product as possible,” Renee mentioned. “We buy local produce that’s grown without pesticides and is all natural. Woodstock Orchards is one of our local vendors as their fruit varieties are always consistent and flavorful. Having been in business for over 30 years now, I’ve been able to find the best food suppliers who are committed to food purity for our customers’ health and satisfaction.
Our Grab & Go food selections for anyone who wants to stop by on a daily basis are what separates us from other catering services too. We thought it was a great idea to establish a storefront. My fiancée, Howard Clark, who is a building contractor, revamped the building we now use here in Putnam and was instrumental in constructing everything from the kitchen to the reception/store area to our offices.”
Renee was quick to point out that they are pretty fair with all their catering pricing too, stating “if someone’s on a smaller budget we will do our very best to take care of them. We can cater small events to very tasteful sit-down dinners. Our website has many photos and various menu items to pick from. We also try to participate in as many community events as possible like First Fridays in downtown Putnam, which we’ve been a part of for seven years now, to the Killingly concert series, fireworks at Owen Bell Park, and functions at the Brooklyn Business Association, including events sponsored by many local civic organizations.”
Facilitating rentals such as specific table types, chairs, linens, decorative place settings, and runners are right in line with Renee’s Working Girl Catering too. They will assist with tents, dance floors, lighting, and all other event management, such as coordinating timing of events, deejays, bands, florists, photographers, and even limousine services. Renee’s company is also the exclusive caterer for Martha’s Herbary in Pomfret, a gift and greenery shop, where they serve monthly tea luncheons. “These are fun tea parties,” said Renee. “We offer tea, wine and cocktails, and hearty finger sandwiches with seasonal vegetables, soups, salads, and desserts. It’s a great setting and location.”
With its fleet of delivery vans and professional staff, Renee’s Working Girl Catering Service continues to grow and flourish for the benefit of all their customers, whether patrons would like to enjoy a daily sandwich or an event planned to their specifications. Renee’s Working Girl Catering Service, 142 School Street, Putnam, Conn., phone/fax 860-412-9365. www.workinggirlcatering.com Email: [email protected]