If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at Dukes Diesel Repair, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city!
By Alina Croft (Instagram: lina_gail, Twitter: alina_croft)
This beautiful Friday, we’re introducing a new small business to grace our little town! This business is unique to the Elko area, as we’ve never had something quite like it before. Keep reading to find out more about this up and coming catering company that may shake things up in the near future!
Leila Welch and Desirae Leininger’s friendship turned into a business partnership when Leila and Desirae realized their skill sets could be used to create a catering business. Leila has a culinary degree, and Desirae has a bachelor’s in business management. The mixture whipped up to make We Cater To You!
“Leila has been a caterer her whole life, and I went to school for business management. I’ve been telling her for years that whenever she’s ready, we could take over the world. Finally, she came home, and we came up with the idea one night!” said Desirae. “We worked on it, and built on it, and wrote up a business plan to get everything together and actually figure out what we would want to do. Catering is what she wants to do, and cakes are what I want to do, so why not make it one and do what we both love and chase our dreams?”
But why did they believe Elko was the spot for this? Growing up here was one reason, but they saw a lacking space and needed to be filled.
“After coming back here a few times over the course of a few years that I was living in Phoenix and when I was in college, I realized that there’s a lot of opportunities here already. There’s not a lot of professional chefs that are here, besides a few that work in restaurants around town, but there’s one catering company in Elko, and that’s it,” said Leila. “There are some restaurants that do catering, but nobody that specializes in catering, which is a lot different. I wanted to bring something fresh to Elko.”
Upcoming Business Expansion
The pair is starting small (thank you, global pandemic) but has plans to expand to something much bigger!
“Right now, we’re doing meal preps and cakes, but we’re in the process of buying a food truck, and we’re going to have it built! As soon as it’s built, we’re going to work on getting it opened and set up to do breakfast and lunches,” said Desirae. “We’re going to rotate around, so we have different cuisines from around the world. Every week it will be something different. We didn’t want to stick to one type of food; we wanted to give a variety so people could try new things and experience food from other cultures.”
Their meal prepping is helping keep some of our local miners eating healthy and expanding their food palettes.
“We have a couple of guys who work out at the mines that we’re friends with that need to have a good healthy lunch to take with them to work, and a lot of them were eating things like Taco Bell and KFC every day. So, we have been doing home-cooked meals for them,” said Leila. “We prep it all, cook it all, cool it all down and package it, then give it to them to take to work.”
The pair isn’t going to stay as a meal prep service or food truck forever, though; they have big plans to grow bigger and do more!
“We were originally going to go with a brick and mortar establishment, but the construction of it seemed like a little more than what we were willing to pay. We’re going to use the food truck as a stepping stone and, piece by piece, use it to build a brick and mortar place. That way, we can go from the ground up,” said Desirae.
What’s Most Important
As you readers may have begun to pick up on, I end my articles with advice, or what the people, I am lucky enough to interview, think is most important to them or for our community to know about them, and here is what the owners of We Cater To You had to say.
“I want to have integrity. I’ve seen a lot of people over the years lose integrity because they lose sight of what they’re doing, and they cut corners. One thing that we’ve made a point to do when we cook is to have integrity in what we’re cooking. Cooking from scratch is where we want to stay, and we do that with each other by challenging each other,” said Leila. “Desirae challenges me every day as a chef. And she doesn’t know what it’s like to be a chef, but from my experience of showing her, she has all this insight that I don’t have because she is a completely different brain.”
“We want to make an honest living doing what we love,” said Desirae.
So, Anthony Around Town-ers go into your weekend with the intent of having integrity and doing what you love. See you next week!
You can find We Cater to You on Facebook!
You can stay caught up on everything going on around here at AAT by checking out our “Stay Connected” page! Make sure you never miss a feature!
Until next time, we’ll see you around, Elko!