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Daily Inspiration: Meet Mary and Serge Krikorian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary and Serge Krikorian. Them and their team share their story with us below:

In 2002, not long after being approached by a mother at their son’s baseball game, Serge and Mary Krikorian decided to expand their hospitality service by opening their catering kitchen in a 1,200-square-foot space with just one stove, one oven and one cooler. At the time, they owned the popular carry-out and delivery pizza restaurant, Sergio’s Pizza.

Today, their catering space encompasses 5,000 square feet, including a professional kitchen and a warehouse of decor items used to elevate visual presentation.

While growing their business Serge and Mary had three sons who grew up working for the family business and continue to help out when their schedules permit.

Vibrant Occasions Catering is not only family owned but is family oriented. It’s important to Serge and Mary that there be a work-life balance and for their employees to be treated as family. Some of the staff have recruited their family members to join the team as well!

Serge and Mary’s commitment to their customers, as well as their employees, has allowed them to grow their business and become leaders in the catering market in Central Arkansas.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Owning and operating your own business is never a smooth road. There have been more than enough potholes along the way that could very well have derailed us if we had not been so determined to succeed. The ultimate secret to our success is the staff that works for us. We would not be success in any way, shape or form if not for our staff who work so hard to make sure that our guests receive the very best we have to offer.

Growing a business from a two-person operation to having 60+ staff members is not an easy task. We have suffered growing pains along the way. At some point, you just have to make up your mind that you want to grow and you book the business (mostly for 6-12 months away) believing that by the time the event comes up, you will have grown the staff to support the business. We have been very fortunate and even lucky that each time we took the leap to grow again, we were able to do it successfully.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Vibrant Occasions is a full-service boutique catering company specializing in tasteful, elegant cuisine made by chefs who are committed to using the freshest ingredients that will dazzle your guests. While we present menus on our website for you to look over, because we make all of our meals from scratch, our professional chefs enjoy nothing more than creating unique, delicious menus just for you. Our extensive services include plated meals, action stations, carving stations, on-site cooking, buffets, and fully staffed events.

We’ll help you craft the perfect menu for any event no matter the season. Chef Serge and his team will help you take into account the number of guests, style of service, and type of event to craft a full menu with appetizers, main dishes, and sweet treats that compliment each other and create a dining experience in perfect harmony. Set your event apart with inspired dishes created by our professional chefs with decades of experience in great food and expert catering.

Our brand new mobile kitchen is perfect for when you’re planning an event outdoors or at a venue without a full kitchen or easy serving options, Vibrant Occasions is the perfect partner! We operate a fully-functional mobile kitchen that can be deployed anywhere for delicious food on the go. In addition to our fully-equipped mobile kitchen, we can deploy smokers, pizza ovens, and grills to feed crowds of any size. We offer tons of dining options — on location, anywhere — including:

Mobile Fine Dining: We can provide upscale chef-prepared dining options at your wedding or other special occasion, including grilled twice cut pork chops, pan-seared Black Angus beef filets, maple bacon brussels sprouts, or any dish your heart desires!

Food Truck and Street Food Menus: Enjoy a festival atmosphere with fan favorites like cheesesteak sandwiches, Korean bulgogi, Italian heroes, shredded beef or pollo asado street tacos, and other fun outdoor options!

Whether you’re hosting a party outdoors or just at a venue with limited kitchen or serving space, Vibrant Occasions can help you craft the perfect menu, provide chef-prepared mouth-watering eats, and staff your event with catering and serving experts to make the whole shindig a smooth and painless experience!

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
We became caterers by accident. We owned a carry-out and delivery pizza restaurant when our kids were young and one day while sitting in a baseball park watching our son play, one of the other moms asked if we could cater a lunch for her the following day. We had never catered before but we said, “of course!” From the time of that first catering, our catering business exploded — to the point that we closed down our pizza restaurant and became exclusively caterers.

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