By LeRae Haynes –
There is more than green in the name at Mint and Lime Catering Company, owned and operated in Williams Lake by Jenn Brown and Mindy Johnson.
Dedicated to providing healthy, natural, delicious, high-quality food in partnership with local producers, Mint and Lime is also committed to a high standard of environmental responsibility.
They cater large and small groups, with a focus on allergies and gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free food as options, as well as ideal protein and keto diets.
“We try to make sure our customers are accommodated the best we can,” says Brown. “My son is celiac, and so often when we eat somewhere there very few, if any, options for him. If a group comes to us and says they have a gluten-free member we’ll try to make the whole meal gluten-free, rather than just an individual portion, so that person can eat the entire meal.”
There is an extensive conversation when customers book a catered event with Mint and Lime, ensuring that the meal meets the group’s vision and expectations and will delight the entire party.
“We don’t roll with providing menus to choose from,” says Brown. “We cater to budgets and preferences. Sometimes a menu can pigeon-hole you, and your customer assumes those are their only options.”
Brown asks how the group feels about certain cuisines like Mexican or soup and salad and is sure to find out about their vision of the event.
“We might do ham and cheese croissants with homemade honey mustard sauce, or a rosemary flatbread with chicken and pesto, or maybe some sprouts and smoked gouda,” says Brown. “We try to be very creative and outside-the-box, while providing great quality.”
Mint and Lime caters anytime of the day, any day of the week, and any event of any size at a business, organization, or private home. The business also does some retail sales from the shop including the Meal in a Jar program.
This program started when one of Brown’s friends asked her to cook a dinner for her and her family because both kids are in hockey and she didn’t always have time to make dinner. Defaulting to drive-throughs was making her feel guilty, so she was hoping Brown could help by making something family-sized and healthy.
“So, I thought about it and figured there were more people out there facing that same dilemma,” explained. Brown. “We wanted to use recycled packaging for the meals—something we could use in the oven, the microwave, and the fridge or freezer. After extensive searching, I finally said, ‘Can we just use glass jars?’”
Brown started testing the idea with her kids’ school lunches.
“My son doesn’t eat a lot of sandwiches because of the whole gluten-free thing, so I’d send things like butter chicken or lasagne in a jar,” says Brown. “All he had to do was heat it up. It was a big success.”
Mint and Lime can do things like shepherd’s pie, pasta dishes, or chicken and rice.
“Online we’ll advertise our weekly jars, as well as a range available here in the store that people can choose off the shelf,” she says.
Brown and Johnson have young daughters who help out at the shop by making re-purposed, re-useable shopping bags out of second-hand washed T-shirts. Even if you’re not shopping at the store, you are invited stop by and take a bag.
They plan to offer innovative classes at Mint and Lime. “We really found that when we’d invite our friends to come help with kitchen prep for larger functions, everyone always said, ‘This was so much fun, Jenn, call us anytime!’They loved the humour, the energy, the teasing, the camaraderie, and the fun in the kitchen,” says Brown, “and we want to create that in community workshops.”
They would like to offer a canning workshop for beginners, for example, or a class on raw food dishes, and they will search for people in the community to teach the classes.
When it comes to being green, people are beginning to see that there’s a new and different way to do things that is better for the environment, says Brown, and she and Johnson want to be a part of it.
“City council has been approached to help reduce single-use plastics; we have the cloth bags and the jars, and when we cater, we don’t use plastic throw-away dishes and plates. We use real ones,” she says.
Brown has always worked in the customer service industry and knows how important it is. “I always felt it’s important to make a connection with customers,” she says. “Whether I could actually help them or not, as long as they walked away with a smile, that was always important to me. Making people happy with what I do is what it’s all about.”
Gift certificates are available at Mint and Lime Catering Company. Reach the company at (250) 267-8087, at 327 Oliver Street, or by following them on Facebook.
LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer and instigator of lots of music with people of all ages in the community. She fearlessly owns 10 ukuleles, clinging to the belief that you’re not a hoarder if you play them all.