At the headquarters of 24 Carrots, a high-end Irvine-based catering company, there’s a flurry of activity. Meetings are taking place; flowers, décor and various wedding paraphernalia are being hustled to and fro; and in the background, the sounds of construction – walls being torn down, offices built – signal the company’s rapid expansion. It’s business as usual here, and business is booming.
In the center of it all are Norm Bennett and Jon Brown, who, as the owners of 24 Carrots, see streams of brides come in looking for the best food in town for their wedding day. But if you ask them, it’s not the high-maintenance, tantrum-throwing bridezillas they’re worried about when it comes to wedding food; it’s their own uncompromising standards for every event they plan. “We do everything custom,” says Brown. “It’s not cookie cutter with us. We ask every bride what her dream is and we make it happen.”
Those are, of course, the magic words when it comes to hiring a wedding caterer. But with the collective experience of both Bennett and Brown, who have respective backgrounds as a chef and a corporate executive (and also happen to be brothers-in-law), it’s actually very likely to happen. The company recently won the coveted ACE Award (“It’s like the Oscar for catering,” says Brown) and has made its way into the finest wedding venues in Orange County and beyond as the exclusive caterer since it opened its doors in 2004. And now, the in-demand 24 Carrots is buying its own venues (Franciscan Gardens in San Juan Capistrano and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity at SoCo are the first) to further customize their events.
“It’s been Mach 5 with our hair on fire the whole time, even during the first several years,” says Bennett, who started the business with his wife, Sherri, after stints as a chef in an OC country club and in Switzerland. “Venues looked at us and saw a caterer that is consistent and does a great job, and those relationships just grew.”
Of course, the relationship is symbiotic; without a great caterer, wedding venues can suffer from the bad-wedding-food reputation – and that’s precisely the moniker 24 Carrots strives to prove wrong every time they cater an event. From grilled cheese stations to iced tea with customizable syrups to Guinness cotton candy, 24 Carrots’ motto has become, “If you can dream it, we can do it.” Which is exactly what a bride wants to hear before her wedding day.
17851 Sky Park Circle Ste. F, Irvine
800.717.1545 :: 24carrots.com