Growing catering company opens third location in new Grand Rapids Goei Center

Deborah Johnson Wood

Shellie Edwards bought the former Applause Catering company eight years ago and she's been growing it ever since. Last week, Edwards cut the ribbon on the third location of Above & Beyond Banquets, Catering and Events in the new Goei Center, part of Eastern Floral & Gifts' new location, 818 Butterworth SW.

With headquarters in Norton Shores and another location in Holland, Edwards employs 80 to 120 servers, bartenders, chefs and other service personnel during the summer peak season.

"We do everything from very high-end weddings to picnics, from intimate dinners to large corporate events," Edwards says. "We've done events for George W. Bush, for Governor Granholm, fundraisers and box lunches."

Edwards' team not only caters events in traditional halls and event facilities, Edwards says they've served for parties on boats, trains and airplanes. And the planning is creative.

"I'm working on a menu right now for a vintage wedding, and the bride wants an elegant picnic," Edwards says. "So we're custom designing a family-style menu of vintage types of foods that will be served in picnic baskets at the tables with the china and everything in the baskets."

The unique setup of the entrepreneurial center provides the catering company with an office space and access to an area where Edwards can collaborate with other business owners in the building. The center opened in November and currently has five businesses.

"We're already networking. RSVP Events is right next to us – they're an event planning service and we're working with them on a couple of events," Edwards says. "There's already a lot of referral business. I think this is going to turn out to be a great thing for everybody here."

Source: Shellie Edwards, Above & Beyond Banquets, Catering and Events; Kiersten A. Schulte, Eastern Floral & Gifts

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com. Have a development news tip for Rapid Growth? Contact us here.
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