Chive Sustainable Event Design & Catering

There are many great caterers in the New England area, but Chive Sustainable Event Design and Catering is unique for many reasons.   Not only is their food delicious and their presentation outstanding, but Chive provides local, seasonal and organic products by working hand and hand with Northshore farmers.  All of their food is prepared in their commissary in Beverly, MA.  We had the opportunity to interview Jen, Event Designer and Founder of Chive, to get to know her better as owner, as well as learn more about the company directly from her.  Chive is a full service event company that is 100% ZERO WASTE.  As their website states, “food waste is the number one contributor to our landfills, and traditional catering is a big part of the problem.  But our clients can be proud that their event was zero-waste: EVERYTHING was composted or recycled.”

There is a progressive movement towards quality, organic, sustainable, home cooked, high end food.  But that is only part of the equation.  We can all do something to minimize waste and support our local farms.  Chive has committed all facets of this.   Between using locally farmed foods and sorting food for their compost onsite at events, they are certainly doing their part for our environment.  With catering, they need to come overly prepared, and in some cases, that can mean waste.  But with Chive, there is never any waste.  Jen shared that “saying that you own and contribute to a sustainable company is the most rewarding career path.  We get to wake up everyday with lots of challenges but solving these problems is very rewarding.  We are creating moments in peoples lives that are so meaningful, then when you take a look back to see how special and thought out the practices were that went along with those moments, it make it even better.”  Hear more from Jen in our interview below.

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Photography provided by Zev Fisher.


 

~What inspired you to open Chive?

Jen: “We started Chive because there was a great deal waste in the industry; there wasn’t the option of the local food and doing it in zero waste system.”

Jen continued to explain how design is something that people are universally attracted to,  so to add well thought out designs with good local food and zero waste,  it a rewarding way to help highlight the special moments in people’s lives.

~What do you think is the number one thing that makes your company stand out in this industry?

Jen: ” We are progressive thinkers. We are not settling into just one way, so we are always shifting and evolving our practices.”

 ~Why do you think there are so few sustainable companies like yourself?

Jen: “ It seems difficult for existing companies to do these practices in an already comfortable environment.  Especially people that are not familiar with the idea.  Rather than a new company that will dedicate themselves by more research and to follow through with what they are saying you are going to do.”

What stuck out to me the most while I was listening to Jen’s answer is that in order to become or to continue to be a sustainable company, “it takes will power”.  Existing companies need to place leaders in their business that are passionate about this movement, and to be motivated to make a change. These leaders need to be doing this for their own moral reasons, not just because they are being told to.  What I concluded about this part of the interview, is that passion is KEY.  Jen and her team clearly have a firing passion about their company everyday, and if other companies do not have that, they ultimately will fail in being a sustainable, zero waste company.

~What is your favorite type of event to plan?
Jen: “Each kind of event for its own reasons.  But when they have an education meets networking event, creating an environment with food, design, floral, to build a creative mood where people want to learn more, it is very exciting for me to set the tone for people to want to talk and ask questions.” 

~Do you find it more time consuming when you are preparing meals and/or coordinating an event, because everything you do is zero waste?

Jen: “Internally we do not know any other way.  We make things from scratch, we are not bringing in frozen goods. Therefore it takes more time to break down more chicken (it is better than not knowing where the ingredients came from).  It does not take more time for the event itself.  That is because we set up a clearing and breakdown stations.  The pre-event is where the majority of the time comes in.”

 

 

Melanie + Benjamin – Four Seasons Hotel, Boston, MA

We always love working at the Four Seasons, so of course I was thrilled when Melanie and Ben told me they were getting married there.  And while each couple is near and dear to me, Melanie and Ben were already special.  I knew them, as well as Melanie’s family, because I coordinated her sister Heidi’s wedding just two years before.  Besides this wonderful, sweet, adorable couple getting married, there were so many touches that made their day so incredibly special.

October 5th was a gorgeous Fall day.  The bridal party used function space on the second floor to get ready, the girls in the Phillips Room, the guys in the Winthrop Room.   The couple met in the Public Garden for their first look.  I loved that their bridal party was part of this special moment (look at them peeking in the background!).  Soon after the couple photos were complete, the bridal party and family photos began.   Once photos were complete, they arrived back at the hotel for their Ketubah signing.  They were surrounded by their immediate family, witnesses and Rabbi Kudan.   For anyone who hasn’t heard the story, Heidi and Dan’s Rabbi was unable to make it to the wedding. Unfortunately, nobody knew or expected this.  We were fortunate enough to call on Rabbi Kudan and he was able to marry them!  For very OBVIOUS reasons, Rabbi Kudan is very special to the family, as well as ME!  And of course there were lots of jokes and nods of appreciation when he arrived to Melanie and Ben’s wedding!

Immediately following the Ketubah signing, their ceremony took place in the Governors Room. The space was beautifully transformed into a ceremony in the round.  Their birch branch Chuppah was set on a riser and was adorned with delicate glass globes, filled with simple florals, set a romantic tone for the rest of the evening.  They were joined under the Chuppah by their parents, Melanie’s sister and Matron of Honor Heidi and Ben’s Best Man Neil.  In addition to beautiful traditions such as Melanie circling Ben seven times before entering the Chuppah and the breaking of the glass, they thoughtfully incorporated many family heirlooms.  One of Ben’s grandfathers’ tallit was used as the Chuppah covering while the tallit belonging to his other grandfather was used to wrap the bride and groom.  The two Kiddush cups belonged to Melanie’s grandfather and Ben’s great-grandfather.  For Melanie and Ben, I cannot think of a more meaningful way to honor, cherish and remember where you came from.

Immediately following the ceremony, Melanie and Ben went to the Yichud Room while their guests were invited to cocktail hour in Aujourd’hui .  The ceremony musicians continued to play and  their beautiful Ketubah was on display for everyone to appreciate.  Just before guests were invited into the Ballroom, Melanie, Ben and their parents enjoyed a private room reveal.  It is always so exciting to see their reactions to their wedding reception space.

The room was set with both rectangular and round tables while the florals were warm tones of ivory, peach and pink, lending to a  romantic, organic feel.  The centerpieces and dance floor were lit for ambiance and to highlight the florals.  And the linens and sultry beige chivari chairs were just the right thing to tie it all together.

Followed by their first dance was the much anticipated HORA!  Throughout the rest of the night there were heartfelt speeches, dance sets, their cake cutting and of course more dancing! Their after party took place back in the Governors Room, where the DJ was setup for some late night fun!  Fast forward to October 3,  just two days shy of their one year wedding anniversary, Melanie and Ben welcomed their son Noah to the world.  What better way to celebrate than to welcome and celebrate his new life?  Mazel Tov on these many blessings!

 

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Event Coordinator: The Day Of

Hair: Patrice Vinci Salon

Makeup: Dani Wagener Beauty

Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Boston

Officiant: Rabbi David Kudan

Cake: Delicious Desserts

Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Keros Entertainment

Reception Music: Soho

Photographer: Melissa Coe Photography

Videographer: Buzz Media Company

Florist: Winston Flowers

Lighting: Suzanne B. Lowell Lighting Design