Menu Maker Catering company founder Mary Weary purchased the former Nick’s Italian Deli building located at 102 Alpha Drive, Franklin where the catering company will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.
In July, Menu Maker Catering officially moved into its first stand alone location complete with a custom-designed commercial kitchen and a grab-and-go carry out option for customers. Carry out isn’t available until August 14 but catering is available anytime. Patrons can stop by and grab lunch in the new space or take it to-go from 11a – 2p. A grand opening event will take place on September 7th from 4p – 6p.
“We surveyed the neighborhood to see what the market wants,” Weary said. “Over and over again, we heard that our business neighbors want good food at an affordable price that’s an alternative to fast food.”
From its 1992 start, Weary has managed Menu Maker’s business operations from a suite of second-floor offices in the secluded home she designed and built with husband John 25 years ago in north Williamson County’s Hidden Valley community. And for years, most of the company’s cooking was done there as well.
“I started small and then kept upgrading,” Weary said of the licensed-and-inspected home kitchen which grew to 1,000 square feet. In 2012, the Small Business Administration of Tennessee named Menu Maker Catering its Home-Based Business of the Year.
Several years ago, however, it became obvious the kitchen operation had “outgrown the neighborhood,” she said.
When Weary learned the Alpha Drive building was being sold, Weary jumped at the chance to finally own and design a space that meets the company’s present demands and allows for future growth. Being able to add the small retail operation came as a bonus.
While she has helped design several commercial kitchens for others, “I’ve never been able to design my own kitchen,” she said.
Chef Michael Holmes and sous chef Ben Parsons are thrilled with the new 20-foot cook line. An 8-by-14-square foot walk-in refrigerator more than doubles the refrigerated space they had previously. Event planner Christa Harris has a dedicated space to meet with Menu Maker’s catering clients and work with them to turn dreams into realities. Though not currently in use, Weary kept Nick’s drive-through window, anticipating expanded carry out and client pick-up services soon.
Menu Maker Catering is located at 102 Alpha Drive, Franklin, TN, 37064. Contact Menu Maker at 615-791-9779 or [email protected] For more information, visit their Facebook page or menumakercatering.com.