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Raising the Bar

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

On a cold February day, our designer Katie Vitale, burst through the sales office door with a large blanket of fake purple daisies. "Isn't this perfect? " she said. "Of course!" I replied, not really knowing what to say but always supportive. We recently decided that our theme for our annual Industry Party would be Scandinavian Midcentury Modern. We all agreed we needed to raise the bar another notch this year, by doing something different and new. However, I had no idea what "SMM" was!

Our Catering Coordinator and new hire, Adam Pardee, careful not to step on the toes of our visionary, offered to bring in his faux elk ears and fur rug. His offer was accepted! Sita Greelish, our Catering Sales Manager, and co-designer/planner started Googling mid century modern furniture, I looked over her shoulder and noticed that I actually had a couple of pieces, albeit IKEA knock offs, in my house. The beautiful lines, and simplicity of the furniture is certainly timeless and popular.

Adam started dreaming up signature drinks, using the mead he had just sampled at The 1634 Meadery. (Why not? The Vikings drank mead, didn't they?) Some of us girls were more concerned about what we were going to wear. What does one wear to a Scandinavian Midcentury Modern party?

Sam Lounsbury, one of our star employees, who just started his own own company, HMS Events, specializing in lighting and music, stuck his head into the office, offering to DJ and to do the lighting. Things were starting to come together!

Before she left for an anniversary trip to Italy, Katie did a little shopping for the party, being careful not to show Paul and Tim. (They tend to freak out about "fluff" purchases during the slow season. While they weren't looking, she smuggled in bags from Home Goods :-) A visit with Sita to PEAK Event Services, was a must on their list. They came back excited. "It's going to be great! You'll see." I believed them, of course. PEAK has been very generous over the years, always providing us with complimentary, new and beautiful rentals for this event.

A call was made to Daron Thayer, our former graphic designer & event planner, who is now at Mariposa, to tell her about the party. She came back to us with an offer from her boss, and our friend, Joelle Moroney, to partner with us. They wanted pictures of our food on their Croc Collection platters, in exchange for professional photos by their photographer. The answer was an enthusiastic, yes!

Invitations went out to our guest list of industry friends, as well as some family and friends. Tim and I took off on a much needed vacation confident the party planning was in good hands.

On the plane ride home, Tim and I debated about the merits and problems with serving CBD or THC food at the party. Our bartender Jodie Comis works at Cape Ann Botanicals and Tim had asked her to bring some gummies, chocolate, tea and honey sticks to the party. (After all, Kim Kardashian had a CBD themed baby shower, why not us?) This food trend was here and we wanted to be one of the first to try it. We ultimately decided on the CBD products, since we thought having our guests sign liability waivers would be rude!

You might be asking yourself, what about the food? That's always a surprise for this event, but never a disappointment. Chef Dave Comprosky rules this event in his own quiet way. Check out the menu and the pictures and imagine the incredible new tastes we experienced that night, with his touches of Scandinavian ingredients. The 2019 hors d'oeuvres he debuted that night were over the top, not to mention the incredibly beautiful stationary displays he created.

Check out our pictures. They say a thousand words. It was an incredible night!

Thanks to everyone who made this event possible, our amazing Team, our industry friends who work so hard to create beautiful parties here on the north shore and to all the people who donated their services and products:

KV Design, PEAK Events, HMS Events, Mariposa, The 1634 Meadery, Cape Ann Botanicals and Lark Fine Foods.

We would especially like to thank Daron Thayer, Natasha St. Hillaire, Jenna Skutnick and Glenn Scott for the great photos!

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