There may be different ownership, but A Taste of Honey caterers still delivers top-notch quality.
“I just had to learn the office stuff like the clerical work and the filing. I’m the chef, so when it comes to the food and the execution of parties, that was my expertise. But now networking on the business-end is a change,” said Brian Kornbrekke, who took over the ownership reigns from longtime owner Evelyn Rogers last year.
Rogers began her business in her West Brighton kitchen back in 1981 mostly for parties in private residences and some corporate work. After eight years of cooking at home, Rogers – aka Honey — rented kitchen space in a West Brighton tavern before co-owning a West Brighton deli in the early 1990s. The final step was the creation of A Taste of Honey caterers.
That journey is something Kornbrekke understands as he started working for Rogers as a dishwasher in the Travis facility when he was just a teen. Suffice to say, the head chef understands longevity as A Taste of Honey celebrates its 25th anniversary with the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve stayed with the trends. We’ve stayed with what the Island is really asking for. We have a unique facility out here. We’re really the only outdoor park on Staten Island,” he said.
Although A Taste of Honey is the exclusive caterer for Nansen Lodge of the Sons of Norway, Kornbrekke states that he does plenty off-site catering around the metropolitan area. In fact, he says some people on Staten Island remember his business from something different.
“A lot of people know us for school field days. We do field days on site for the public schools on Staten Island and the local boroughs. A lot of people only know us for those,” he said. “So, when they come for a full-service, high-profile wedding outside, they can’t believe the transformation of what the place can look like.”
Speaking of weddings, the owner says a major change throughout his years has been the desire for more outdoor weddings.
“My September and October was booked solid, and it’s also booked for 2019. We’re pushing into 2020 now,” said Kornbrekke. “Me and Evelyn worked side-by-side with that. The whole rustic, outdoor wedding is really the big thing now. People aren’t spending the $200,000 for a wedding anymore. You’re going to have a mortgage and payments. So, people are getting a little bit more frugal when it comes to parties. But you can have a nice party outside and not break the bank.”
With the changing landscape of the catering business, Kornbrekke says he relies on the Chamber to get the message out to customers.
“It gets your business out there. It keeps it in the neighborhood. I like it. I think it really works,” said the owner.