Bob and Patti Watson, the husband and wife owners of The Kitchen Inc. have been in the industrial catering field for over twenty years. The company began as a party store with a deli that sold a few sandwiches each day. Slowly several catering trucks in the area stopped by the store to purchase sandwiches to resell on their trucks. Bob quickly realized there was a strong need in the Metro-Detroit area for fresh sandwiches with quality ingredients manufactured and sold at a reasonable price. The Watson’s eventually sold their party store to concentrate all of their efforts in the industrial catering arena. The company rented kitchen space inside a warehouse in Troy, Michigan that housed approximately 120 catering trucks. The menu was vast and varied providing a complete line of breakfasts, cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches, salads, and specialty items such as fresh baked pizza made from scratch. Bob felt it was important to stay on the cutting edge of the industrial catering field going above and beyond the State and Federal mandates with regards to label requirements, cleanliness, and state of the art equipment.
In October of 2000, outgrowing the small facility, the corporation moved to a brand new 3,200 square foot facility located in Madison Heights. Bob and the Management team worked hand in hand with the local Health Department to make sure the building not only met; but also exceed the strict guidelines set forth for food production. The business continued to thrive servicing catering trucks each morning. Inevitably, as the economy in Michigan began to decline in 2001 so did the catering truck sales. Bob realized a need to “find new cheese” (referring to a book he read entitled “Who Moved My Cheese?”), and began to look for ways to diversify the corporations customers. The solution appeared to be in the Vending Machine industry, a portion of industrial catering field yet untapped by The Kitchen Inc. Our team worked hard to set up the logistics of a delivery system including refrigerated vehicles, just in time delivery, and the resizing of delivery crates.
Fast forward to 2005, when it became evident that now was not the time to stop “thinking outside the box.” The Kitchen Inc. needed to find yet another way to broaden the corporation’s horizons with the bleak economic future hanging over Michigan. The opportunity to service charter schools in Michigan providing lunches to students without cafeterias in their schools surfaced, and our company took full advantage.
Page 2: Continue >>