Southern Way Catering started with humble beginnings. Jimmy Stevenson, founder, would fry catfish off the back of a pickup truck and had floor mixers on the floor of his living room.
Now, Southern Way Catering is celebrating over 30 years of catering events, from galas to backyard weddings. Started in 1982 in Columbia, Stevenson wanted to stick to his deep Southern roots to start his family business.
In 2018, the team felt like they had done a good job in Columbia and decided it was time to open a second location. Jesse Bullard, vice president of Southern Way Catering, partnered with Mark McCalmont, general manager, in Greenville where things are just now getting started.
Bullard says that Greenville was an option they considered for awhile. “We noticed that Main Street was really starting to develop as other industries moved to town,” Bullard said.
The dominant economy in Greenville was also an enticing option, with the city being strong in business, industry and manufacturing. “It is an attractive place to do business in general, paired with its growing food scene,” Bullard said.
McCalmont can recall when the food scene in Greenville was first starting to grow. “It was interesting to watch Greenville go from the Clock to what Main Street is now,” he said.
While there are many restaurants and hospitality professionals in Greenville, Bullard and McCalmont felt that the catering business was an underserved area. “We do catering, and that is all we do,” Bullard said.
Instead of focusing on different aspects that go into planning an event, McCalmont said what makes Southern Way stand out is that the business has honed in on full-service catering.
“What we felt like was missing in this industry is the level of service we bring,” McCalmont said.
The style Southern Way Catering exudes is bringing the kitchen to the client. The food is prepared on site and not made beforehand.
McCalmont points out that in the catering industry, the food and service may not always match the setting. With Southern Way Catering, he said they take the time to plan with their clients.
“Our goal for our clients is not only to exceed expectations, but to sit down with them in beginning stages and figure out exactly what they want,” Bullard said. “We do a lot of listening and look at the event not just from a food standpoint, but the holistic experience.”
The catering company is the first to arrive and the last to leave at events. “We are committed to the overall success of the event and are looking forward to opportunities and getting busy,” Bullard said.
Address: 301 Haywood Road, Greenville, SC 29607
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays