Charleston, South Carolina is known as one of the largest event destinations in the world. With that title comes dozens of event planning companies and catering vendors eager to capitalize on the endless business opportunities. With more than 38 years of experience, Hamby Catering & Events is a second-generation, family-operated, full-service catering company, serving the Southeast for weddings, corporate, and social events. “But, our ability to stay relevant for more than three decades is what has propelled us forward,” says Candice Wigfield, president, Hamby Catering & Events.
All photos courtesy Hamby Catering and Events
With its tenure in the industry, Hamby has learned how to stand out in this competitive environment. Finding the company’s niche was the first step to its success. “Sticking to our roots, Hamby decided to own Southern cuisine with an innovative twist in our market. Our modern and refined flare to classic down-home dishes gives us an advantage. This doesn’t mean we don’t edit our time-tested recipes and add new menu items seasonally. We simply understand our core competencies and ensure that each item delivered from our kitchen is crafted with Hamby’s finest preparation techniques and uses the freshest, most sustainable ingredients. We want our patrons to recognize a Hamby creation and relish it,” Wigfield says.
Quick pick up
One of Hamby’s largest accomplishments to date involved incorporating the idea of event catering into everyday life. To that end, Hamby’s recently opened a physical presence named The Market at Hamby, an extension of their event catering business. “The Market is our brick-and-mortar specialty goods shop that allows us to cater to our Charleston neighbors on a daily basis. We offer pre-made grab-and-go food options for our customers to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We supply gourmet salads and sandwiches to pick-up for a midday meal, heat and serve casseroles to bring to a family gathering, and dips and hors d’oeuvres to help host a small event,” says Wigfield. The Market also gives customers the ability to pre-order food for upcoming parties, allowing them to host intimate events with the flavorful foods that are essential to Hamby’s Southern heritage.
In addition, Wigfield says the company has created meal solutions for families around popular holidays. They’ve also expanded these catering options for more smaller gatherings like graduations and tailgates, and constantly add solutions to the mix to remain connected to their clients. “Recently, we created a special menu for the solar eclipse,” says Wigfield, “and saw record number sales for a Monday in an off-season month.” These packages are available for customers to easily order online and pick-up from The Market. Providing menus for community happenings opens the door to sell food more regularly and create quicker recurring business, an option many caterers pass up.
“The Market at Hamby has become a valued part of our business structure at Hamby Catering & Events and has helped us redefine our story,” says Wigfield. “It further connects us to our city, lets us stand out amongst our top competitors, and provides us with a new stream of revenue. Even though our business volume continues to grow, the heart of our operation will always remain consistent.”
See Candice Wigfield at #catersource 2018
Candice Wigfield will dive deeper into the launch of The Market at Hamby and share the secrets of this new quick serve retail business. Click here for Candice’s bio and session description.