Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Ashley Todd.
Hi Laura, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Like many young people in their 20’s I jumped around from job to job trying to find my passion. I have tried everything from Preschool teaching, photography to pyramid schemes. By an act of fate, I stumbled upon Florida Culinary Institute back in 2007 and have been in love with catering & off site event production ever since. Before I opened my own business, I would work in South Florida during the winter months and I would travel all over the country working in various locations during the summers. I’ve worked for iconic clubs and venues in Maui Hawaii, Bar Harbor Maine and The Hampton’s.
Traveling so much really helped me to develop and diversify as a Chef and gave me a pretty good knack for dealing with all sorts of people. Being a part of the culinary & hospitality industry has brought tremendous culture, direction and discipline into my life and for that, I am grateful. Once I turned 30, I decided it was time for me to put my suitcase away and put down some roots. I couldn’t think of any other place I would rather set up shop then back home in South Florida. I opened Laura Ashley Catering in 2015. We specialize in Weddings, Cocktail Parties and Corporate Events. Helping my clients celebrate life’s milestones and bring their vision into reality is such an honor. Making magic is the best part of my job.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Funny, you ask… Everything was going great until the pandemic happened. Like many small businesses, we came to a screeching halt in mid-March of 2020. Going through this experience has really taught me no one is ever guaranteed anything in life. I also learned that nothing takes place in hard work. In order to survive, I had to rely on my creativity and determination to get through this trying time. We started doing fun weekly deliveries called “Happy Hour in a Bag”. It really took off and helped pay the bills during the summer. Doing weekly affordable deliveries introduced my company to many new people. I feel like we are actually more popular than ever now. Who doesn’t love a party in a bag or box? Order yours here!
I also took the opportunity of having some downtime to make some renovations at our commercial kitchen space in downtown West Palm Beach. Many of my industry friends were having to give up their warehouse and office spaces because they could no longer pay the rent. So I created a space called The Nook. It’s a small neutral meeting space for industry creatives to use for client meetings and small gatherings. We encourage professionals to bring their brand. Bring your sign, photos and décor. Make our space your space. Mi Casa Su Casa! It’s all an attempt to help those who still want to keep working. It’s a safe place to land in case anyone needs it.
And… I also started a new company called Pic & Sip. I guess you could say I’m a bit of a workaholic. Pic & Sip is an edible logo beverage branding company. We can put an edible, non-toxic logo on any hot or cold beverage. It’s an incredible and affordable WOW factor for any social or corporate event.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a Chef & Caterer. I specialize in transforming a blank canvas of a venue into the party of your dreams. We create signature cocktails and dishes for our client’s events. We help tell a story. No menu is ever the same. If you hire me for your wedding, I want to know how you met? Where was your first date? How can we turn your story into the most memorable meal of your life? I love staying up on current trends and thinking outside of the box. We were doing grazing tables two years ago and now they are everywhere. I’m always looking for new innovative ways to impress guests.
What makes you happy?
Being a business owner makes me really happy. There is a great sense of pride knowing “I created this!” and if I had to I can do it all over again. No one can ever take away your knowledge and skill set.
Going on vacation and drinking a tropical cocktail on the beach also makes me very happy. 🙂