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Innovation & Job News

Pit Stop Catering opens its first takeout location

Pit Stop Catering has opened its first takeout location at 579 28th St., Suite 16 in Grand Rapids. "It is the end suite at the D&W Shopping Center Plaza, closest to Pals Diner.  Look for the line of people," says Matt Smith, pitmaster and founder of the popular catering business.

Making the move from a nome-based catering business utilizing a remote commercial kitchen to a retail location is a big jump for any business, but the numbers from May through June 2014 alone help explain part of the rationale:
  • 1100 lbs. beef brisket
  • 1800 lbs. pulled pork
  • 750 lbs. mac'n cheese
  • 1500 lbs smokey baked beans
  • 350 lbs potato salad
  • 150 racks of ribs
  • 2400 barbecued chicken thighs
  • 65 catering events
  • 5 forearm burns and scars
Another part of the motivation to move came from a goal of getting more efficient with time and increasing capacity for growth. "Well first of all, it is one minute and 23 seconds from our house versus 19 minutes from our house to where we used to cook in Lowell," says Smith. "It is a huge time-saver for us since we don't have to load up our catering van and bring all of our supplies back and forth from our garage to the catering kitchen. We now have a 'home base' and location to keep all our equipment."

Finally, Smith says the new location will allow Pit Stop Catering to grow beyond just cooking at events and be open for takeout. Smith says he is still deciding on exact store hours but will probably be open 2-3 days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ("or whenever the grub is gone"). He does plan to feature several weekly specials plus experiment with new recipes and products. "We will have Guinea Pig Tuesdays and roll out new items for people to try and give us feedback. Guinea Pig will not be on the menu, however," he says. "My kids would kill me." He advises for customers to visit his website for contact information.

To keep up with the increased demand, Smith envisions 8-9 new employees being added to his team in the very near future, including fully paid culinary internships for students.

To follow Pit Stop Catering, you can visit their website here or their Facebook page here.

Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor
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