Spice Catering Co. | Part 1

Home Grown: Creating Northeast Ohio’s first true farm-to-table dining experience.

SERVICES: Brand Strategy & Consultation

The Beginning

While Chef Ben Bebenroth was a master at crafting real farm-to-table dining experiences, he turned to Muse to capture the essence of his passion and business, Spice of Life Catering Co.

The birth of Spice wasn’t entirely intentional. Chef Ben’s education and travels outside of Ohio exposed him to true taste of place experiences that weren’t available in Cleveland. He realized that the only business model that would support true farm-to-table dining was a catering business.

Unlike a typical restaurant, a catering business would work closely with clients to design a custom menu months before an event. This allowed Chef Ben to communicate with farmers well in advance of heir harvests so they could plan crops accordingly. Menus tailored in this way created dining experiences that were as close to farm-to-table as a business could get. The obstacle? Spice’s price point was set about 30% higher than traditional caterers.

A premium dining experience (and price) called for a premium brand and promotional activities. This is where Muse came in.

Vision

Muse founder, Jackie Bebenroth, understood Spice of Life Catering Co.’s vision and needs from the beginning.

Being married to Chef Ben, Jackie had an inside look into the passion and emotion that went into the business. She also deeply understood the misperceptions Spice had to overcome prior to launch, in addition to the higher price point.

Action

The largest misperception was that Spice was a traditional catering company. Muse helped Spice tackle this by crafting a premium brand experience that included an upscale ticketed dining event series.

Brand Promotional Materials

Muse worked with Chef Ben to develop a visual identity that reflected the strong connection Spice had to local farms and producers.

This was the centerpiece for a suite of promotional materials that nodded to Spice’s farm-to-table mission and hand-crafted nature. The sales kit also emphasized the company’s premium offerings with high-quality, thick cardstock paper and wooden business cards.

Sales kits created by Muse were sent out prior to Spice’s launch to generate buzz among prospective clients and regional restauranteurs. Hand crafted elements and creativity went into every brand promotional piece – even the menus were hand illustrated.

Beyond the physical sales kit, Spice’s website was also designed to reflect the premium nature of the brand and its farm-to-table mission.

Farm-to-Table Dinner Events

Muse worked with Chef Ben to create a branded, premium farm-to-table dinner event to introduce Spice of Life Catering Co. to Northeast Ohio. The name Plated Landscapes™ was coined by Muse to evoke a taste of place feeling and tangible connection to the meal.

Plated Landscape™ events took on a life of their own. The first event was held at a mushroom farm where guests had the opportunity to get up close and personal with their fare for the night.

After a tour of the farm, guests sat down to a five-course dinner featuring ingredients from the farm and other local producers. Other Plated Landscape events followed this pattern at unique locations throughout Northeast Ohio that brought guests to the heart of their meals. Local photographers agreed to capture the event in return for complimentary meals, contributing thousands of farm dining assets to the Spice image library over the years.

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Results

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