Our client Judy Marlow of SIMPLY DIVINE catering talks with us about her impressive food business and why she chooses to work with National Kosher Supervision!
When was Simply Divine Catering created?
Simply Divine evolved in 1988 from an earlier catering company I’d started in 1985. It has always been a full service event planning, event design, and catering company.
What type of events have you done?
My background is design and our focus has always been on event design and event planning. This is a benefit for our clients as they can have the opportunity to have both event planning and a catering company, all with one company. We have been known for our menus, taste, and style since we started. We always wanted to bring a sophistication to the kosher market. Our focus has always been on quality in every aspect of our work.
We do all kinds of events ranging from weddings, fundraisers, bar and bat mitzvahs, cocktail parties, and we have an extensive group of secular caterers and high end restaurants that we sell our kosher menus to when they have kosher guests attending or when they themselves have kosher events and need our help. We also offer event design and planning services without the catering for those clients who need these services. Additionally, our Café at The JCC sells a Grab and Go menu and homemade baked goods.
What are your bestsellers?
All of our menus are enjoyed and we consistently get raves about our foods – especially our beef, chicken and fish entrees. We also make all our own baked goods. We have a very talented pastry chef and are known for our miniature desserts as well.
Where did the name of your company come from?
I wanted a name that told the story of what we were about but not in a pretentious way. Simply Divine seemed to fit.
Who creates the recipes?
My extraordinary Executive Chef, Brian Sutor, creates all of our menus and recipes. He is a master chef, was trained in Paris and, for a dozen years, was the Sous Chef in what was once the only five-star restaurant in the US, Le Bec Fin, in Philadelphia. He is on the level of chefs that own or work in restaurants such as Gotham Bar & Grill, Le Bernadin, Blue Hill at Stone Barns. All of his dishes have layers upon layers of flavors. We have worked together for 14 years. I’ve never had a chef as great as Brian.
Why go Kosher?
My business started at SAJ Synagogue on W 86th Street so we had to be kosher. We have always been a kosher company.
Why National Kosher Supervision?
I always liked Rabbi Mehlman. And, I like working with an individual rather than a large company that represents a brand. Rabbi Mehlman introduced us to Rabbi Cymet who we have enjoyed getting to know.
What have you had to change in your business to meet the needs of the kosher consumer?
We have enjoyed changing the perception of the kosher consumer; that they can eat the same quality menus as a secular person. Because something is kosher doesn’t mean it can’t be fantastic in taste and style. We haven’t had to change what we have been doing for 30 years. The market has changed to expect what we offer whereas at the beginning they didn’t know it was available.
Any advice for someone looking to start their own food business?
The food business is, at best, difficult. Kosher is even more complicated. Best advice is to have access to financial resources so that you can have the time to set up your brand and build it properly. It takes time and money to do this. Also find good partners to work with that can do everything you don’t do as well. Go with your strengths and find others to fill in your weaknesses.
Questions? Comments? Or to obtain Kosher supervision, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
National Kosher Supervision is a full service kosher certifying agency located in the greater New York area. We have experience working with a variety of food service industries. Our clients value our affordability, friendly staff, and attention to detail. We treat your business like our own and we want you to succeed! Our Executive Rabbinic Director, Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman, is the highly respected Rabbi of Congregation Ohav Sholom in Manhattan. He is an alumnus of Brisk (Jerusalem) and Beth Medrash Govoha (Lakewood) where he received his ordination.
Click HERE to see more photos from our Instagram page!
See below for more of our kosher supervised stores!