It’s no secret that I’m a foodie. Being a Portland wedding photographer has brought so much good food into my life. “Thank you” to all our foodie clients!
Portland is brimming with delicious food and the local catering is by far levels above what you’ll find elsewhere. It was always my dream to work with clients who have weddings that not only showcase their personalities but also showcase the gems of the location they are in – including local foods, wines, landscapes, artists, and musicians.
I had the privilege of meeting Ashley, co-owner of The Hive Catering Co, during a wedding vendor meetup in the pre-COVID times. I knew I liked her right away and I was so excited to learn that she and her husband own a farm to table catering company. The Hive Catering Co showcases some of the best local foods the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Since meeting I’ve been lucky enough to taste their food and visit their farm and let me tell you – they have some of the BEST catering in the Portland area and in my 14 years as a wedding photographer their food ranks in my top 3 wedding food experiences.
So what makes it so good? I’ll let Ashley tell you all about it below:
Hi Ashley! Can you tell us a bit about The Hive Catering Co and what inspired you and your husband, Chef Joseph Hunt, to start your own catering business?
It was kind of a matter of practicality. He is a Chef and the golf course that he was working for wasn’t doing that well. I wanted to farm and have an outlet for produce. We didn’t have a lot of startup capital so we decided that a catering company would give us the freedom to design our business to incorporate our passions. It also allowed us some space to be parents to our children. At the time, I was pregnant with our first child.
Your website states that you’re a “seed to table” catering company. What does this entail?
A lot of work! We go beyond scratch made food and we grow some of the food we use in our dishes both at events and at our restaurant. Our land is co-farmed by Dirt Rich Oregon, who also grows a lot of our produce on our property. We absolutely love being able to support small farms, especially Dirt Rich.
Where do you get your culinary inspiration from?
We get inspired by the seasons. Sometimes, I will give Joe a list of ingredients in season, and then he takes those items to create a dish. It’s fun, and our dishes come out really colorful and interesting. Joe has an incredible sense of flavor profiling and the sauces and seasonings he creates are crave-worthy.
My husband and I absolutely loved visiting your farm. Can you tell us about what this space means to you and what your plans are for the future on this land?
This is our home, and as parents of two small children we spend a lot of time there. This space feeds our souls and passions – from the garden to our relationship with Dirt Rich, to outdoor movie nights on the patio, and hopefully some on-farm dinners in the future. We love to host people, friends, family, and people we don’t yet know. A sense of community is what Joe and I both crave deeply.
What kind of client does The Hive Catering Co typically serve and what would you like to see more of in coming years?
We work with a lot of out-of-town wedding clients who want to showcase the Pacific Northwest to their guests and others who want their weddings to have some seriously good food. We cook everything fresh onsite with those farm-to-table ingredients and Joe’s incredible talent. We do full service events so we are involved with timelines, layouts, rentals, and complete event staffing for day-of execution. We’ve just finished renovating a new venue space in Oregon City that is absolutely BREATHTAKING and we can’t wait to start hosting celebrations there. It’s called the Arc Light (@thearclightvenue).
What should couples consider when booking a caterer for their wedding? Any insider tips?
So many tips! Many of which depend on the clients’ vision for their day, menu, venue, and other factors. Having a planner or a vendor that can help give direction and make suggestions is the best place to start so there is a resource for future tips. No wedding is alike!
Since starting The Hive Catering Co you’ve started two more businesses centered around food and events. Can you tell us a little more about The Hive Social and The Arc Light?
While we were looking for a tasting room and kitchen, we sort of happened upon this incredible space in Oregon City. At the time, the land owner couldn’t lease us a small space, so we decided to open a Brunch restaurant to utilize the rest of the space. We’ve been insanely popular and just won some accolades for our brunch, coffee, and catering. After six months of building up our restaurant, the land owner wanted to sell the building. As an alternative to losing our lease and having to start over, we partnered with my mother and grandmother to purchase the building. We have been renovating it since then. We are almost finished completely refreshing the upstairs. This space was a gathering space for the Oddfellows. It’s now a stunning wedding venue with tons of amenities including suites for bride and groom that can also be utilized for guest spaces.
If you’d like to learn more about The Hive Catering Co, The Arc Light, and The Hive Social you can give them all a visit at www.thehivecatering.com.
If you enjoyed this article and are looking for more foodie related content, check out my blog post Himalayan Dumplings by Kyikyi.