Hey gang! It's been a while since we've done one of these but we're excited to be back and bragging on the sweet & wonderful, DaRae Marcum with DaRae & Friends Catering! We adore this woman and the business she's built. Not only is SHE wonderful but her food is also SO WONDERFUL! Win/win in our books!

It's also wonderful timing because they are doing an incredible giveaway that you should absolutely check out if you're need of a caterer! It's their 10th Annual $10,000 Wedding Reception Giveaway!

The drawing is March 15, 2017 and there are just three steps you need to take to enter to win:

1. Book your reception with DaRae & Friends

2.  Set a date for a tasting or finalize your personalized menu

3. Pay your 40% deposit before March 13, 2017

Once you've done those three things you'll be entered to win this incredible giveaway!! You can call their office for more details or to set up your tasting - 859.272.8003

Can you give the readers a little background about your business? How long have you been in business and what services do you offer your clients? My name is DaRae Marcum and I am the proud owner/partner of DaRae & Friends Catering. We’ve been in business now for the past 23 years and we often cater from anywhere between 2-17,000 people per event. Our most popular catering events include weddings, holidays, corporate events, and cocktail parties.

When did you know that this was the business for you? I truly believe becoming a caterer was all part of God’s plan for me. I loved learning how to cook and serve others from my grandmother and aunts growing up, but it wasn’t until I was 30 years old that I decided to turn my passion into a business.

Where did the inspiration for your business come from? My friends always asked if I would cater for their parties and I think that was when I realized that people truly enjoyed the services that I had to offer. Back then, I would call other friends to help me prepare the food, but now with the help of DaRae & Friends’ 20 full time employees and 150 part-time employees, I’m never left short-handed.

How do you contribute your passions into your daily work routine? I’m extremely passionate about cooking and entertaining so being able to do it on a daily basis is incredible. I’m constantly studying the menu, reading cookbooks, and exploring Pinterest for new inspiration.

What’s the best part of running your own business/ being your own boss? I’ve learned that owning a business as large as DaRae & Friends requires more than just my expertise so I’m incredibly grateful to have someone help advise. But to answer your question, my favorite part is looking after our employees. They mean so much to me and I love being able to watch them grow and become even more knowledgeable.

What is your favorite part about working within the wedding industry? Weddings are my favorite catered event because they’re a wonderful time for family and friends to get together and celebrate. We’ve developed several strong connections through wedding catering and I know those connections will last a lifetime. Many years ago, we catered a wedding and we recently catered to their son’s wedding as well. If the tradition continues, then maybe we’ll be lucky enough to cater the grandchildren’s wedding too.

What’s your favorite aspect of your business and how does that motivate you in your daily work? I love that catering allows me to be a servant for people and that I’m able to give back to the community that I cherish so much. Here at DaRae & Friends, we’re all about giving back, whether it’s through donations or free catering services. Once a year, we provide free wedding catering to a deserving couple and that’s always such a rewarding experience for us.

What is the most rewarding part of your business? One of the best things about cooking is the instant gratification. I’m able to cook something and give it away on the same day and I love being able to have that immediate satisfaction of making someone happy. It’s incredibly rewarding.

How do you define “success”? To me, success is the happiness that you bring to other people.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years? I love where our business is today so I would be perfectly happy if our business remained how it is in the next 5 years.

This blog series is entitled, “The Heart Behind”. You were chosen because of your love for people and your caring attitude. How do you pass your grace and love onto your customers? Growing up, my grandmother and aunts taught me that you could express your love for people by feeding them. I’m blessed that I get to feed people everyday, but I also want to spread love and grace through comfort. That’s why I read the obituaries every day and bring food to those who are mourning a loved one. My hope is that they’re able to find comfort through the food that I provide in order to help them get through their difficult time.

What advice would you give someone who was considering starting his or her own business? Make a business plan for everything. Businesses have many moving parts so it’s important to make sure that each aspect is getting tended to. Having your own business is extremely rewarding so remember to enjoy the experience and give back to your community however you see fit.

Isn't it just so fun getting to know Kentucky's wonderful wedding vendors a little more? We certainly think so! We adore DaRae and it doesn't surprise us one bit at the success her business has had because of the heart she's put into it.

Don't forget to check out their amazing giveaway they're doing! Good luck if you enter to win!!