It’s still great – maybe even better. Great Events Catering Company is a Key West institution operating for more than 25 years. Taking ownership five years ago, Julie Schreck and husband, chef Dave Fuhrman, knew what they were getting into with the long history and reputation of the company, but they also knew there was room to make it even better.

The offer to buy the company seemed like a no-brainer for Schreck, a popular wedding planner, and Fuhrman, a chef at local restaurants such as Hot Tin Roof, Antonia’s, La Te Da, A&B Lobster House and the Conch Republic Seafood Company. There wasn’t a better way to combine their talents than to go into business together.

“Great Events had the recognition but just needed a facelift, and we wanted to attract more local interest again, which is happening,” said Fuhrman. They modernized the offices, created a contemporary website and revamped their approach to catering as a whole. They implemented marketing strategies and got their name out with pro bono work.

“We wanted to introduce new trends into the Key West market and provide what’s happening in other cities. You need to be versed in the industry,” Fuhrman said. He is proud that his company can cover the spectrum of wants and needs of his clientele. He can provide live food stations at events so food is cooked to order; sustainable, organic food; miniatures, which are really big right now; late night menus for weddings; and a full range of allergy-based menu items for celiac sufferers, vegans, vegetarians, and even low-calorie.

“This business isn’t cookie cutter, it’s about understanding our clients and giving them a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Fuhrman. Now, the couple is happy to see success with their approach. Great Events recently covered 25 events in 10 days, “House parties are back and it’s a great crowd down here.” Repeat local clients and compliments like “best wedding food ever” make Fuhrman happy because catering has moved away from the rubber chicken dinner.

“It’s quite special to be part of such an industry down here,” said Schreck. “Great Events is an incredible brand, we have an incredibly qualified staff and it feels good to get it back to its reputation of 30 years.”

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