Dandelion Catering Company officially launched in 2009 in Portland, Maine when lifelong Maine residents Christine and Christian Hayes decided to chase a dream that led them both out of their restaurant and foodservice careers and into the world of catering.
Their ultimate goal was to not only produce restaurant quality, freshly prepared food in an industry that is far too dependent on frozen and pre-made ingredients, but also to create a company steeped in their principles. Quality, fresh, handmade cuisine that is prepared with the best ingredients.
A small business that cultivates and inspires their team through respect, positivity and genuine gratitude. A business where all involved can feel proud of their part, and feel appreciated.
Years later, the humble beginnings of a bootstrapped small business, built on the foundation of a tireless work ethic and an iron-clad commitment to service and quality, has evolved into one of the most talented and respected catering companies in the region.
In the end, they have created a company that reflects very much how they live their lives. Simple, approachable, and humble, yet very unique. No smoke and mirrors, just a pure passion for cooking, food, community, family and service.
OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM
Emma handles the logistics and management of planning and executing our events. It takes a special breed of person to take on such a task, considering the many variables involved, but Emma has done so from the start, with a smile on her face. She is a seasoned restaurant veteran, having started working in the industry at the age of 15. She is an avid runner, and has been known to complete a half marathon if you dare her to.
She holds a deep appreciation for white wine, but during socially unacceptable times, she relies on Polar Seltzer to get her through the day.
Sami brings a career's worth of knowledge to our bar and beverage program, creating custom cocktail menus seasonally as well as creating wine lists that are nuanced and perfectly paired with Dandelion's food offerings. Sami fit right in with the Dandelion crew by bringing her perpetual light and warm smile, as well as a passion for service, quality, and thoughtful products. In her off time, Sami can be caught ripping up the slopes with epic shreds for dayz.
Fiona + Cassidy Hayes
As soon as physically possible - resident dishwashers.
I grew up a vanilla girl, and my mother always provided a warm meal for her family, just not a very flavorful one.
Then, when I was 17, I got a job at the Portland Green Grocer and my view of food changed forever. I was exposed to some of the most beautiful produce I had ever seen. Cooking became a new adventure, one that my mother and I took together, and one that I will never forget.
From culinary school to catering companies I got my first insights into the exciting and chaotic beauty of the industry. I had the pleasure of working at Mim's and Natasha’s where I worked myself up to the position of Sous Chef. I’ve also had the amazing joy of working for Five Fifty-Five and Standard Baking Company. Dandelion is my ultimate adventure….
I ride motorcycles and used to play rock and roll in a band. I started cooking at a very young age and never stopped, hitting the foodservice scene in my teens.
My great grandmother used to fry dough for me and put her homemade strawberry rhubarb jam on it. That was 35 years ago and I can still smell and taste it like it was yesterday. I can only hope that some day I can have that effect on someone. That's the real stuff and stands the test of time, the fleeting trends, and any pretentious dish ever made.
Amy does a little bit of everything, all performed with impeccable organization. She is the heartbeat on the administrative side and has developed our offices into a cohesive, efficient unit better than we ever could have.
Amy's background was primarily in the music industry when she joined our company, having been Tour Manager for Fun and Production Assistant for My Morning Jacket, as well as spending years with Maine based company Reverb.
Besides her supreme organization and stellar itinerary production and planning, Amy also enjoys interior design, art and photography, constantly adding to the assets she brings to the table. Her relentless drive to constantly improve the back end of Dandelion's logistics, daily operations and client relationships has truly elevated Dandelion beyond expectation and her personal investment has been both humbling and inspiring.