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Catering company survives pandemic, focuses on 'to-go huts'

Chef Suzanne Catering has opened a second "hut"
Posted at 4:37 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 18:41:11-05

FISHERS — A local catering company is finding creative ways to stay open and continue serving the community during the pandemic.

Chef Suzanne Catering is located in Fishers and they have to-go huts in Geist and Lawrence.

“It's almost a form of, I don't want to say motherhood, but you’re nurturing their soul and you’re feeding them,” owner Suzanne Rockwell said.

Running this catering company is a dream come true for her. Rockwell said she worked a corporate job for years but decided to make a change. In 2009 she opened Chef Suzanne Catering.

She tells WRTV the company was doing great until the pandemic began.

“We never really thought that it would go on as long as it did," Rockwell said. "We thought maybe 90 days and we will all be up and going again, and one by one the events kept canceling."

She said they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to canceled events, but she was determined to keep the business going.

“My husband and I, we dipped into our 401(k)," Rockwell said. "We applied for any kind of assistance that the government had, PPP, EDIL, anything that would help us get through.”

The catering company already had a drive-up “hut” in Geist where they offered fresh and fast to-go meals. Rockwell said they shifted their focus there and in November, they opened a second “hut” in Lawrence.

“We are just really fortunate that people continue to support us,” Rockwell said.

Rockwell’s own staff is working to support the business as well. She says she hasn’t had to lay anyone off due to the pandemic.

This week, the staff decided to donate their time and resources for a spaghetti fundraiser.

Chef Suzanne Catering has also been able to continue charity work throughout the pandemic and donate meals to families in need.

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