3 Ideas for a Corporate Retreat

May 18, 2016

Our lives are so filled with so much brightness and revelry. On weekends we get to celebrate stunning and romantic weddings and during the weekdays we get to help companies celebrate success with summer BBQ’s, grow closer through retreats and off-sites, and build their business with sales and team-building sessions.

Is your company planning an off-site? If so, we’re sharing three ideas to make this year’s event your best yet!

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1.Keep Moving

We’re not suggesting a game of musical chairs, but instead moveable spaces where you can give people a fresh perspective, keep them engaged, and transition easily from day to night. A venue that has a flexible floor plan allows your employees to switch mindsets without switching locations. You can host a business-focused session during the day, then seamlessly turn the same space into a fun evening event!

Expert tip: Pick a venue that has multiple spaces. This allows you to set up for the next part of the event without shuffling people outside or into a corner during the transition.

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2. Lighten up

Say goodbye to the traditional buffet and box lunches and hello to an array of appetizers or a moveable feast. Light dishes mixed with fun cocktails gives a party feel and won’t leave your guests sluggish and hot. Plus, giving guests the opportunity to mingle around during the dinner hour allows for more conversation.

Expert tip: Is your company insistent on a sit-down dinner? To allow for the same conversation and mingling, have the dinner family style!

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3. Debut a DJ (or other unexpected entertainment)

A corporate retreat is a great time to talk shop and do company planning, but it is also a chance for your employees to let loose and get to know one another outside of the office. Plan ahead and schedule entertainment! It could be a magician, a great DJ, or even something outside the box – like karaoke, a surprise guest speaker, or a scavenger hunt!

Need help planning your company’s retreat or off-site? Contact us at 206-932-4717 or marketfresh@herbanfeast.com. With full service event coordination, award-winning catering, and a variety of venues, we can help coordinate every aspect of your event.

For more event planning tips and updates, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Xoxo,

Herban Feast

Spring and Summer Event Inspiration from our Dual Open House

April 15, 2016

Our Sodo Park and The Foundry venues were enlivened with exquisite spring and summer décor and florals during last week’s Open House event. Thanks to our talented style and design team, both venues were transformed into wedding and special event ready settings, allowing guests to imagine how they would look during their own event.

Guests started the evening at The Foundry, where our Herban Design Studio and Herban Bloom team combined lush greenery, metallic accents, flicking candlelight and floral details for a romantic, modern feel.

Photo credit: Barbie Hull Photography

Photo credit: Barbie Hull Photography

Photo credit: Barbie Hull Photography

Photo credit: Barbie Hull Photography

Photo credit: Barbie Hull Photography

Photo credit: Barbie Hull Photography

Photo credit: Barbie Hull Photography

Photo credit: Barbie Hull Photography

Stunning rental pieces from Vintage Ambiance

Stunning rental pieces from Vintage Ambiance

Guests were then chauffeured by Butler Valet to our award-winning Sodo Park venue, where they were greeted by more awe-inspiring décor from our event styling and floral design team, from pops of colors, to whimsical tea lights, to an amazing umbrella overhang.

Photo credit: Rebecca Ellison Photography

Photo credit: Rebecca Ellison Photography

Photo credit: Rebecca Ellison Photography

Photo credit: Rebecca Ellison Photography

Photo credit: Rebecca Ellison Photography

Photo credit: Rebecca Ellison Photography

Jen Leslie Events & Wonderstruck Event Design at our “Ask-A-Planner” booth

Jen Leslie Events & Wonderstruck Event Design at our “Ask-A-Planner” booth

At both venues Chef Amanda and the Herban Feast culinary team presented dishes from the new spring/summer menus, including the Citrus Rubbed Salmon entrée, and hot Creole Shrimp and Grilled Chicken Caesar appetizers. Wines from Vinea Imports and Sozo, cider from Dragon’s Head Cider, and a bubbly bar accompanied the delicious bites. The evening was topped off with gourmet wedding cake from Celebrity Cake Studio, gluten-free delicacies from RylieCakes, and our own famous house-made ding dongs!

Citrus Rubbed Salmon with Blackberry & Brown Butter Emulsion

Citrus Rubbed Salmon with Blackberry & Brown Butter Emulsion

Grilled Chicken Caesar served on a Endive Spear and topped with Crisp Parmesan Cheese & Feta Flank Steak Roulade with Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Mousse

Grilled Chicken Caesar served on a Endive Spear and topped with Crisp Parmesan Cheese & Feta Flank Steak Roulade with Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Mousse

Creole Shrimp and Grits with Cheddar Cheese and Fresh Herbs

Creole Shrimp and Grits with Cheddar Cheese and Fresh Herbs

Gluten-free treats from RylieCakes

Gluten-free treats from RylieCakes

A fun bubbly bar accompanied by beautiful hand-crafted chalkboards from Chalk Boss

A fun bubbly bar accompanied by beautiful hand-crafted chalkboards from Chalk Boss

Our Open House event would not have been possible without the help of our amazing partner vendors. A very special thank you to Herban BloomHerban Design Studio, Sozo, Prop Gallery, Blue Danube ProductionsCORT Events Rentals, Vintage AmbianceChoice LinensCelebrity Cake StudioFun Frames Photo BoothButler Valet, Vinea Imports, Phototainment, Windsong Trio, Barbie Hull Photography, Chalk Boss, Dragon’s Head Cider, Seattle Parties, RylieCakes, Jen Leslie Events, Wonderstruck Event Design, Emerald Media Services and Rebecca Ellison Photography for making our event a stunning success.

 

For more Herban Feast events and happenings connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

XO,

Herban Feast

Best Seattle Caterer and Best Large Event Venue! Herban Feast Wins 2015 “Best of Bride”

June 26, 2015

We are so proud and thankful to be honored for the fifth year in a row in Seattle Bride Magazine’s “Best of Bride” competition!

Winning the title of “Best Caterer” in the region…and

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having Sodo Park honored as the  area’s “Best Large Venue” is a testament to our dedication to showcasing the region’s riches in our delicious, innovative menus and wowing our clients and their guests with a spectacular place to celebrate their big day!

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Congratulations to all the other “Best of Bride” winners, and especially our partners who were also honored.

A huge thank you to Seattle Bride, our vendor partners, team and awesome clients! For more company updates and fun happenings connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Xo,

Herban Feast

Spring/Summer Open House at The Foundry

May 29, 2015

The Foundry was ready for wedding season at our spring/summer open house event on April 22nd.

A special thank you to our partner vendors MikedUp Productions, Tallant House, Phototainment, Butler Valet, Blue Danube Productions, Prop Gallery, Choice Linens, Creative Coverings, Espresso Elegance, Kevin Drake Sign & Design, Dante’s Inferno Dogs, Vintage Ambiance and ABC Rentals by CORT for helping to make this event possible.

We love these gorgeous pictures from the event taken by The Popes:

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The Herban Design Studio team; Kaleb Norman James, Fluert, and Herban Bloom did a terrific job, including décor such as succulents, metallic accents, pastel floral arrangements and more. It looked fantastic in there.

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Lucky for us the sun was shining and we were able to show off our outdoor patio. The perfect spot for a cocktail hour or late night snack. Whimsical picnic furniture perfectly complemented the outdoor space.

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Guests got a chance to sample some of our spring/summer menu items including our signature sweet potato and Dungeness crab cakes and our citrus rubbed wild Pacific salmon with blackberry and brown butter emulsion. At the bar we mixed up our Herban smash cocktail with bourbon and orange bitters.

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We sincerely appreciate our partners and team for helping bring our vision for this event to life.

For more Herban Feast events and happenings connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Happy Friday,

Herban Feast

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!

Cheers,

Herban Feast

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!

Xo,

Herban Feast

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 marketfresh@herbanfeast.com

 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 marketfresh@herbanfeast.com

 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 marketfresh@herbanfeast.com

We can’t wait to see you!

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Love,

Herban Feast

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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Love,

Us

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
SOUND STRATEGIES

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.

Introducing our New and First Outdoor Event Venue!

August 6, 2014

We are thrilled to announce our newest and your soon to be favorite outdoor venue for weddings and special events! Friends, escape with us to Froggsong Gardens on Vashon Island.

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** All photos courtesy of Eliott Peacock Photography

Entering Froggsong Gardens you’ll wind your way through stately trees to a front gate that opens into a series of sprawling English-estate-inspired garden features, including a recirculating stream that flows 150 feet through the garden – from a shady hillside down through the sunny lawn. Punctuated by leafy architectural statements, a contrasting color palette and floral adorned structures, Froggsong Gardens’ mesmerizing estate is certain to become your first choice for booking your most special outdoor events.

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Froggsong Gardens is a 16-acre uniquely styled garden estate designed to host extraordinary events – from weddings and private parties to corporate retreats. Located centrally on Vashon Island, Froggsong Gardens is fully equipped for intimate events of 25 to large celebrations up to 250 with complete event planning services, including our award-winning locally-sourced cuisine and the option of event styling and décor from our Herban Design Studio.

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Guests will enjoy being immersed in the lush, private gardens while taking in rolling territorial views and special spaces with features like indoor/outdoor fireplaces and covered pavilions. To arrive at the venue from the North or South end of the Island, guests can choose chartered private boats or public ferries and personal or private car, or bus service.

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Operating an outdoor event space has been a longtime dream for our owner BJ Duft and since we are in the business of turning dreams into a reality, here it is!

Froggsong Gardens is available for event bookings June – September. To book the venue, please call 206-932-4717.