12th Street Catering: Exceptional Event Service through Flavor, Style, and Design

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Laurie Buckman, The Special Events Coordinator of 12th Street Catering. We were astonished by the brilliant dynamism of these hospitality professionals as well as their commitment to excellent service, ethical practices and, deep roots in the Philadelphia community.  The professional team that make up 12th Street Catering possess a diverse range of specified skills, developed through over three decades of experience, creating an organization that has a spectacular ability to customize events for an endless range of occasions. The staff at 12th Street Catering describe themselves as “food people” and ensure that they “take great pride in crafting thoughtful, inspired dishes” in order to wow their patrons and put a delicious and memorable spin on any event.

The roots of 12th Street Catering were formed over 35 years ago when culinary aficionados, Michele Leff and David Fetkewicz, partnered to open the 12th Street Cantina in the Reading Terminal Market. The partners, fueled by their desire to serve extraordinary cuisine to the people of Philadelphia, developed a series of outposts and restaurants throughout the city, eventually building to their present day masterpiece, 12 Street Catering. They now operate five cafes, serve a multitude of corporate food service accounts, and employ over 85 full-time employees and 200 part-time employees. Laurie Buckman passionately explained that one of the keys to the company’s success has been the dedication of their many long term employees, stating “We have employees that have been with us for 10, 15, and 25 years! This longevity allows us to excel at what we do, as we bring so much collective experience to all our events.”

12th Street Catering takes great pride in their ability to customize and individualize any event. Laurie Buckman states that, “there is no typical event for us” and further explains that, “One of our strengths is our incredibly diverse kitchen, which continues to set us apart as the multi-ethnic perspective is reflected in our creative and inspired menus – Thai, Columbian, Middle-Eastern, and beyond. Whatever the client wants, we can rise to the occasion and exceed expectations across the board.” This multi-faceted approach allows them to cater everything from, as Buckman explains,  “your 20-person happy hour to your 600-person seated gala.”

Another phenomenal aspect of 12th Street Catering is their personalized décor designs that they complementarity provide for all of their full-service events. Buckman states that, “Our staff places importance on the idea of ‘eating with your eyes first’ with our beautiful décor, our stunning displays, and our impeccable food presentation.” She also excitedly explains that “One aspect of our business that really sets us apart is our 8,000-square foot decor warehouse, where we are ready to create a stunning display for any occasion.” Buckman goes on to explain that they “never settle for the same look event after event, and we constantly update our inventory.” This dedication to providing a dazzling aesthetic alongside their ingeniously designed menus is a testament to 12 Street Catering’s dedication to delivering an unbelievable level of service.

We were especially amazed by 12th Street Catering’s commitment to community and integrity which is showcased through their environmental efforts. Buckman states that they “take pride in being one of the only green catering companies in Philadelphia, while also caring deeply about creating the most delicious dishes for our guests to enjoy.” Buckman explains that 12th Street Catering is “deeply rooted in providing and incorporating fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients into all our dishes year-round… [and] also place emphasis on company wide recycling policies, composting leftover ingredients in our kitchen, and, when using disposables, ensuring they are made from compostable materials.”

Needless to say, we were blown away by the combination of world-class service, design and cuisine with a commitment to green practices, and staff appreciation.  Laurie Buckman inspiringly and simply described the core of 12th Street Catering’s exceptional service, “Our staff brings so much energy, experience, and care to our events – when you actually love what you do, it’s easy to provide extraordinary service.”