She wanted to give guests a sense of expectation so she began to plan Friday night themes. She started simple with Latin, Italian or Caribbean themed tablescapes and menus. She cooked and decorated for the women’s group for eight years and it grew from thirty guests to well over 150. Guests would seek her out to decorate for weddings, bridal and baby showers, housewarmings and graduations.
She was very flattered when an attorney asked her to cook and decorate for a DC mayoral candidate’s cocktail fundraiser. It is challenging to give one hundred percent to cooking and presentation. Her passion for presentation outpaced her love of cooking so she narrowed her focus to a niche creating tablescapes. After incorporating, one of her first clients was a holistic medicine/vegan physician who hired her to create a tablescape for two segments on Fox 5 morning news. The first was for Breast Cancer Awareness month. The second was related to men’s health. Both segments were designed to educate viewers about natural foods and products that heal the body. Michelle was complimented by the camera crew for her work. Her business continued to evolve. Now she has a team of event professionals who share her passion for ambiance and creating an enjoyable guest experience. Michelle is a member of Association of Bridal Consultants DC/MD, and attends events sponsored by National Association of Catering & Events, and Women Chefs & Restaurateurs. She seeks out conferences such as “The Art of Catering Food”. This allows her to stay well connected to the event, rental and hospitality industry.
Faith-based organizations are among our repeat clients. Many of them have great cooks who bring food to pot lucks, teas, celebrations and repasts. Although the food is tasty, the buffet tables typically lack continuity. Their organizers began renting serving items from us. One church in Silver Spring, MD offered to cook food for a repast following a memorial service. The daughter hired us to bring the continuity and ambiance. We dropped off the chaffers, platters, bowls, and beverage dispensers the night before. The next day we set up buffet linens, guest table linens and centerpieces. Although it was not part of our contract we helped the kitchen team replenish, serve, clean up and break down. It was satisfying to know the church and the family were pleased.
We also set-up buffets for non-profits who receive freshly prepared food donations from local restaurants, in foil pans, as an in-kind gift. Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center is one example of this. One of the patrons said “I came to this event last year and I can tell you…you really tszujed it up”. What a flattering compliment. Another repeat client is Whaler’s Creation. They are a culinary arts training program for teens in foster care. We set up their buffets to show off the food the students prepared for a Fashion Show Fundraiser. We supplied all the guest table centerpieces, linens, trays, platters and dishes and other serving items for a culinary competition judged by local chefs. Most recently we supplied all guest table and buffet items for a dinner that recognized teens in foster care who are excelling in school and the contributing to their local community. We include these examples to trigger your thoughts on you can utilize our services for your event.
Michelle Long is the visionary behind Creative Table Tops. She was born and raised in California but her mother is from Alabama. Southern hospitality is in her blood. She always enjoyed cooking and setting a pretty table. She joined a faith-based organization and within her first year she volunteered to organize a picnic. Not long after that leaders asked if she would consider cooking for 30 women one Friday night per month. After a few months she wanted to step up her game and have stainless chaffers and pretty centerpieces. There was no budget for such items so she began to make centerpieces, she bought books on garnishing and bought serving items so she would always have them on hand.
Creative Table Tops, LLC