Making It: Squash The Beef Caters Vegan Takeout During The Pandemic
Editor’s note: This is part of a series exploring how Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs and small businesses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and their plans for moving forward.
Maker: Candace Maiden, Catering Director, and Kurtis Williams, Sr., Executive Chef
Business: Squash The Beef, a plant-based catering company
How has the outbreak impacted your business?
Williams: “We just take it one day at a time, because, as we’ve seen, each week has changed. We can’t plan for tomorrow, so we want to give out the best quality that we can to everyone that we come across, because you never know what can happen the next day.”
Maiden: “We’ve not had a pop-up and all the festivals we were planning to go to have been canceled. We have an event that we were actually hosting, which was a “veg out.” We pushed it back till June, but even now we’re not sure if that’s going to be possible. But if we canceled, we have to refund all the vendor fees. There’s things that we’ve already purchased that’s going to be a loss. It’s been a little bit of a slow process with food distributors. There’s some wait time. So we’ve actually closed our kitchen for April and will reopen in May. That’s just time for us to re-up on inventory and take stock in what we have. But I think because everything is changing, we needed that pause. It’s allowed us to focus on what’s important and what we can prioritize.”
What have you been doing to stay creative?
Maiden: “The thing about it, that even in a crisis, people still need to eat. We’re definitely using the time experimenting in the kitchen. And so when we do come back people can say, ‘wow, they got like all these new food items!’ And I get to taste all of it, so I’m happy about that.”
Williams: “I’m always trying to find something different, something fun, something exciting that someone wants to eat, that I want to eat. I’m actually working on something different tonight. I can’t tell you right now because I don’t know how it’s going to turn out.”