Posted to: General News by Lorin Laxton on Aug 17, 2012
This past Spring, we learned that our relocation by December 31st was imminent, and so the mad dash to scout a new building began. We had some very specific requirements; location, square footage, financial feasability among the most important, then parking, accessibility, proximity to existing venues, employees and clients were also objectives we wanted to consider. We looked at several properties around the area, finding many to be too small, too expensive, too difficult to access, and very little that captured the "Catering Works feel". It was a little scarey and depressing to think we wouldn't find the right combination of features, and could not see ourselves in the options available. We were vexed with decisions as to whether to look at a lease or purchase, and the looming financial burden of upfitting a commercial kitchen. We considered some former restaurants, thinking that existing kitchen features would make the transition easier, but none of them worked in terms of location, accessibility or price. We are just not a restaurant, and kitchen requirements are certainly the heart of what we do, but we also have a full floral workshop, sales and conference requirements, and trucks, trucks, trucks and vans to contend with. Most defunct restaurant properties just don't have an allowance for these activities. Jill had worked with Garry Hoover, our landlord of the past 20 years, and shortly afterward sent an email to the team with the subject line "Our new home". I will have to admit, when I first looked at the flyer, I thought to myself "she must be crazy". After a site visit, however, I was hooked. 2319 Laurelbrook, a very old building in a somewhat industrial and perhaps forgotten section off Capital Blvd, was a diamond in the rough. The former home of Ultimate HVAC and Door Products, Inc., at first did not seem quite our style, however, but when taking a closer look, we finally found a spot where we could actually see ourselves operating! Perhaps the biggest draw is the ample amount of loading and unloading potential. The former tenant manufactured industrial style roll up doors - perfect! There are truck bays and garage doors located at every turn. With a lease agreement fully executed in July, we worked with Garry and Mauer Architecture firm of Raleigh, to begin the process of re-tooling this gem into what we are calling our new "food factory".