Inside Westland Distillery: A Featured Herban Feast Off-Site Venue

March 27, 2015

We’re thrilled to be partnered with the region’s most beautiful, fun and lively venues, bringing our delicious, innovative catering to guests’ events and celebrations.  Today, we’re showcasing a neighboring venue in SoDo Park that shares our love for preserving the area’s historical buildings and savoring of complex, hand-crafted Whiskey, Westland Distillery.

Built in 1919, Westland Distillery originally housed the Ederer Crane Manufacturing Company and today continues the heritage of large-scale, high-quality manufacturing, trading in cranes for whiskey. The distillery’s mix of rustic, old-world architecture and impressive industrial design is a reflection of a timeless sensibility that honors the endeavors of the past.

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Emerson Lamb, Co-Founder and President of Westland Distillery, grew up in the Pacific Northwest and comes from five generations of success and legacy in the timber, paper and pulp industries. Together with his business partner and Master Distiller, Matt Hofmann, Lamb built the Westland Distillery in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle, where it stands as a monument to all he’s inherited.

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Constructed in 2012, Westland is the nation’s largest single malt whiskey distillery, and since opening has become one of the premier event venues in the Seattle area.

While open and expansive, the distillery still offers an intimate and detailed experience to events of all sizes. In its short time on the scene, the crew at Westland has already showcased the venue’s versatility, developing a reputation for executing a variety of events with a distinctive style; from weddings and corporate events to private parties and public receptions.

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Thank you Westland Distillery sharing the history, background and photos of your beautiful space! A complete list of our off-site venues can be found here. Also check out Herban Feast’s own venues on display here and here. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!


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Get inspired by these bridal trends for 2015

March 12, 2015

As we get closer to the peak of wedding season, we’ve been noting our favorite trends, styles, décor and themes. Here are a few that we think you’ll love as much as we do.

  1. Off-the-shoulder dresses

This romantic look was all the rage during spring runway shows and offers a fresh style for the romantic bride who’s looking beyond the ball gown.

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Photo via Harpers Bazaar, courtesy of Marchesa

  1. Marsala

Pantone’s 2015 Color Of The Year is showing up in wedding details big and small – from flowers to groom attire to cakes and décor.

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Photos via Pinterest

  1. Lace invitations

Lace has always been a trend for wedding dresses, but now it’s making the leap to other wedding details, like these invitations.

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Photo via Elegant Wedding Invites

  1. Metallic bridesmaid dresses

Just because it’s the bride’s day to shine doesn’t mean that the bridesmaids can’t stand out too! Glitz and glamour are sneaking into bridal parties, putting a spotlight on the bride’s leading ladies.

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Photo via Style Me Pretty

  1. Communal dining

Many brides this season are embracing inclusivity and togetherness with big family-style tables.

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Photo Brandon Pato Photography

  1. Flower crowns for the bride

All hail the floral queen! Brides are taking spring flowers to a new level, using them to top off their wedding ‘do. It’s an easy (and inexpensive) way to add some bohemian glam to your look.

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Photo via The Wedding Blog

  1. Chalkboards

Chalkboards are the new black. From invitations to menus to seating charts, they’ve become a new wedding staple.

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Photo via The Wedding Blog

  1. Greenery

While we all know flowers and weddings go hand-in-hand, brides this season are opting for a “greener” floral arrangement. Greenery is showing up on all the trendy wedding tables and in many bride bouquets this spring. Perfect for an enchanting summer wedding.

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Photos via Love My Dress

  1. Fishtail braids

This laid back look is all the rage on the runways and red carpet this year. Now, brides are making it their own. With this messy yet stylish look you won’t have to fret about your hair during your big day.

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Photo via Want That Wedding

         10. Local and sustainable food

Weddings are going green as brides and grooms are becoming more thoughtful about what they’re serving friends and family. Couples are requesting local food that is sustainably sourced, like our new spring/summer menus featuring ingredients from Northwest farms and producers.

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Photo via Herban Feast galleries

For more wedding favorites take a look at the real weddings we featured here and here. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!


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Herban Feast Real Wedding: Jaron and Justine

February 20, 2015

This unusually warm February has us thinking about outdoor weddings! So we are pretty excited to share these beautiful photos from Jaron and Justine’s big day at DeLille Cellars, courtesy of Clane Gessel Photography.

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Cheers to Jaron and Justine! We wish you a long, happy life filled with lots of love and joy.

RSVP! Westland Distillery Open House + Save the Date for Our Bi-Annual Open Houses

February 6, 2015

We’re excited to share three upcoming open house events, including one offsite open house at Westland Distillery and our bi-annual open house events at Sodo Park and The Foundry. Get out your calendar and get ready to RSVP.

Westland Distillery Open House Event on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015, 5-8pm

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Please join us at Westland Distillery for an Open House featuring our innovative menus, stylish presentations and customized service paired with Westland Distillery’s Thoughtfully Made event space. We’re thrilled that Azzura Photography, GreenLight Events, Kaleb Norman James Design and The Sweet Side will be part of this special evening.

RSVP (up to 4 guests) by Friday, February 6th, 2015 by calling 206-932-4717 or emailing

 Our Spring/Summer Sodo Park Open House Event on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015, 5-8pm

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 2014 Open House Photo: Van Whye Photography

Brides magazine just named Sodo Park one of the Best Venues in the nation! We invite you to join us at the acclaimed Sodo Park for our spring/summer open house tasting.  Be among the first to see the results of our revitalization of the floors, get inspired by seasonal décor and event design from our Herban Design Studio and enjoy a sampling from our innovative, delicious spring and summer menus.

RSVP (up to 4 guests) by Monday, March 23th, 2015 by calling 206-932-4717 or emailing

 Attend Our Spring/Summer Open House Event at The Foundry on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, 5-8pm

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2014 Open House Photo: Alante Photography

We will be showcasing The Foundry during our spring/summer open house event on Wednesday, April 22nd.  Guests will experience inspiring seasonal décor and event design from our Herban Design Studio and also enjoy sampling our innovative, delicious spring/summer menus alongside the gracious service we’ve become known for.

RSVP (up to 4 guests) by Monday, April 13th, 2015 by calling 206-932-4717 or emailing

We can’t wait to see you!

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


Herban Feast

We’re Moving! Please Note Our New Address

January 22, 2015

Friends, we are excited to share the news that we are moving our offices to a new location – right next door to The Foundry.  This will be the first time we’ll have everyone, including our kitchen under one roof.  We’re excited to watch the kitchen in action and see their new creations!

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As of February 1, 2015, our new address will be:

4136 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

Right next door to The Foundry

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Come visit us!

An Interview with “Featured Vendor” Niki McKay, owner of Blue Danube Productions

January 7, 2015

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What inspired you to start Blue Danube Productions?

Blue Danube Productions was established in 2007 because there was a disconnect between event planners and audio visual suppliers.  The Danube River separates two cities in Hungary: Buda and Pest.  With just a simple bridge, the two cities are combined to make one magical destination.  Blue Danube Productions is the bridge that connects creative event professionals with a flawless technical production to create an immersive experience.

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What can your clients count on when working with you?

Communication.  Whether it is quickly returning a quote for an upcoming event, talking through event goals to determine the appropriate event technology or explaining what is being provided and how it works, Blue Danube Productions takes pride in communicating clearly and efficiently.

 Where do you find inspiration for new ideas or elements you can bring into an event?

Inspiration for events can be found everywhere.  In the Blue Danube Productions office we have an active Idea Board where members of the team bring photos, sketches, magazine clippings, etc. and post them to the board.   As a team, we discuss why that particular element inspired us and how we could translate that into the world of live events.

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What is the must-have A/V item for any and every event?

Every event needs to have audio support.  The main goal of any event is to communicate with attendees – and it is impossible to do that if they can’t hear the presenter or entertainment clearly.  From small audio systems with a couple speakers and a microphone to large concert-level systems – audio is always budget well spent. 

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Thanks to Niki for sharing her insight and the Blue Danube team for enlivening our events!

A fresh arrangement! Herban Bloom Opens

December 2, 2014

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Roses are red, violets are blue, we’re thrilled to introduce Herban Bloom to you. Herban Bloom is an exciting extension of our floral design capabilities, creating strong connections to local growers and infusing a new level of floral creativity into our Herban Design Studio.  Located on Vashon Island, Herban Bloom’s retail shop is managed by islander Melody Williams who brings over 30 years of floral design experience.

Read on to see photos from our Grand Opening celebration!

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The perfect home and floral gifts await you.

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A peek from the street.

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Hop on the ferry for an island adventure and stop by the store for your holiday floral arrangements, wreaths, centerpieces and gifts.


We hope to see you soon!

Interview with “Featured Vendor” Kaleb Norman of Kaleb Norman James Design

November 3, 2014

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What inspired you to create Kaleb Norman James Design? 

I’ve always been creative. When most kids couldn’t wait for baseball practice, I couldn’t wait for it to get over so I could get back to designing or building something. By the time I was finished with high school, I knew I wanted to do something in the design world and signed up for a bunch of architectural design courses. Quickly I realized it wasn’t nearly hands on enough for me and the times I had been most happy creatively was when I was working with flowers and helping friends with their weddings. So I started doing some research and found an incredible school in Manhattan and within a week was signed up and on my way to NY. After about 5 minutes of my first class, I was hooked and no doubt remained that this is exactly what I wanted to do.

What do you love most about your job?

Weddings have this way of being larger than life and over the top. It’s fast paced and chock full of momentum, so every day is different and there’s no monotony. Each client is entirely unique from the next, but the one thing I’ve found in common is that they come to me because they’re passionate about creating a beautiful wedding. So when their passion encounters my own, it’s amazing seeing what we can accomplish together. The process of working with someone so closely for anywhere from 6 months to over a year allows me to build a really special bond with my clients. We got through a lot together, form choosing venues, dealing with family issues that affect the wedding, to the small things, like choosing which shade of white we want the flowers to be. By the time the wedding comes we’ve generally become great friends. There are two moments that I love most on the day of the wedding- just before the first look, I always take a moment to connect with my bride, see how she’s doing and then show her the bridal bouquet for the first time. Getting to see the look on her face and the way her eyes light up is the best…the second is when I get to reveal the reception space to the bride & groom before it’s filled with their guests. We’ve spent months dreaming this up together and when I get to open the doors and show them a perfectly appointed space, created entirely for them, it makes all the late nights and hours of prep work, absolutely worth it!

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Where do you find inspiration?

I have a serious case of Wanderlust. If I’m home for more than two months at a time, I get antsy and have to go somewhere new. Travel for me is the biggest source of inspiration. I love experiencing a culture different than my own. From the street fashion, to the architecture, to the food, it’s all so beautiful to take in. I try to place close attention to the details that surround me, so when I travel I love find boutique hotels and shops. These smaller places never skimp on the details, so I’m inundated by fresh takes on design and style. I love finding the way locals interpret the styling of these places and try hard to pay close attention while in town.

What do you see as the prevailing event design and décor trends for 2015?

So far, I’ve noticed that metallics aren’t going anywhere! Adding in that touch of gold, bronze or silver seems to be the accent everyone going for. Whether it’s changing it up with gold flatware or adding a metallic, sequin linen, I’m constantly being asked to incorporate metallic touches for my weddings. Also, I’m getting lots of requests for “bringing the outdoors, in.” People seem to be loving the idea of really lush, greenery heavy concepts, with flower walls, suspended branches dripping with florals or creating centerpieces that feel more like trees than just flowers, everyone seems to be on the cascading floral/lots of greens concepts.

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Photo by Gabriel Van Wyhe

Falling for Fall & Winter Events: Our Sodo Park Open House

October 20, 2014

Fall events are a favorite for us.  We love the combination of sweet coziness and beautiful natural scenery to create a warmth that washes away even the rainiest of days.  Our Fall/Winter open house events were themed with this in mind and emphasized an “into the woods” experience that brought together earthy elements with ethereal neutrals to bring out the original beauty in everything we showcased during the event.  Vintage pieces play nicely in this theme as does vibrant accent colors like you will see in our Dahlia display below.

Take a peek at a few gorgeous photos from Gabriel Van Wyhe of Van Wyhe Photography.  To see more photos from the open house event, visit our Facebook page.Picture 1

Our Herban Design Studio  carves out a warm corner (above) and showcases inspiring table top settings (below) that exemplify the elegant, outdoor, natural theme of the event.

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A table of Dahlia’s complements the neutral décor with a burst of vibrant color.

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A few featured tastings from our fall and winter menus included our baby spinach salad with grapes, toasted walnuts, gorgonzola crumbles, and pear vinaigrette; our fennel-crusted halibut with olive and fennel caponata, and a sampling of our fall and winter appetizers, including our signature Sweet Potato and Dungeness Crab Cakes with chipotle remoulade and chives.

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We are grateful to our team and partners who made our Sodo Park Open House intimate, inspiring and beautiful.

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Celebrating Success: Owner BJ Duft featured in the Puget Sound Business Journal

September 18, 2014

We are thrilled and incredibly proud to grace the pages of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s September 12th issue. The full-page Sound Strategies spread can be found below.

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Herban Feast sprouts offshoots for events with Northwest vibe

Glenn Drosendahl, Contributing Writer

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Marcus R. Donner

B.J. Duft, owner of Herban Feast, surveys the company’s main event space in the Sodo Park building on First Avenue South in Seattle.

Every Friday morning at his five-acre Vashon Island “farmette,” Herban Feast owner B.J. Duft hand-picks about a thousand edible flowers to take to work.

“It’s my Zen practice … my centering time,” he said.

Centering apparently works. In 15 years, Duft has built Herban Feast from a two-person operation into one of Seattle’s leading catering and events companies with about 800 events last year and annual revenue of nearly $7 million.

Innovation and diversification have been keys to the company’s growth.

It started with a small West Seattle café in 1999. It restructured, became a catering company in 2003. Then came the big changes that turned it into a local industry leader.

Herban Feast added its own event venue, Sodo Park, in 2008, followed by a restaurant (Fresh Bistro), a second indoor event venue (The Foundry), a design studio and, this summer, an outdoor venue on Vashon (Froggsong Gardens). A flower shop is scheduled to open in November.

“Building a business model that’s financially supportive,” Duft said, “gives you the depth to be creative.”

Herban Feast goes into what he calls “ideation mode” to meet changing customer expectations.

Wedding parties now are less likely to want the traditional sit-down dinner and multi-tiered cake than something more innovative. Similarly, Duft said, corporations want anything but stuffy and predictable, and are asking instead for events that get workers away from the office and electronic devices.

“The Northwest has a distinctive way of doing events,” he said. “The glitz and glam factor is not as big as in some other cities. People here are looking for other approaches.”

Herban Feast’s jobs are split roughly 50-50 between private and corporate events. Duft is aiming for higher-end events now – for example, weddings with a budget of at least $50,000 – reducing the overall number while keeping total revenue about the same.

The company was named “All-Around Best Wedding Vendor” this year by Seattle Bride magazine. Online voting was open to anyone to produce a top five, and then was limited to industry professionals to pick the winner. “So,” as editor Ali Brownrigg put it, “that means Herban Feast gets high marks from both their clients and their peers.”

Duft plans no more growth in terms of facilities this year, but would like to consolidate next year to get his office and sales teams, and his 4,500-square-foot catering kitchen, all under one roof.

A special thank you to Glenn Drosendahl and Ali Brownrigg for sharing our story, and our partners, friends, clients, and guests who have made this successful story possible.