By Jacob Mathias
Amy Scheide started catering company Great Expectations out of a kitchen in her home after years working in her coffee shop of the same name and a simultaneous position in the international division of Renaissance Learning.
Great Expectations started as a catering business 13 years ago and serves scratch-made meals for everything from family events up to corporate meetings. The catering business started in the home of Amy Scheide and her husband Ryan Scheide who acts as the head chef. Scheide and her husband are devoted to sourcing as much local food as possible for their recipes and because of that they change their menu quarterly to adjust to seasonal food options.
“It’s very enjoyable and satisfying to have ownership of a dream like this,” she said.
In an effort to provide more local foods, Great Expectations newest development is the addition of a manufacturing license. Available for purchase at the eatery are homemade jams, jellies and breads prepared by the culinary team.
Scheide’s background and position in the company is on the business side of things and her experience there gives her insight into the catering business that she attributes to her success. She said she knows how every item on the menu performs and all their costs and she’s fastidious about waste and local sourcing. Her business acumen gives the rest of the staff the freedom to do their jobs well.
“By being the one who owns and manages that part, it frees Ryan and his team to do what they do best and not be dredged down in the finances and the marketing,” said Scheide.
The business started catering community events but soon expanded into more personal events and Scheide said she loves it. She said community involvement is still a focus of her catering efforts.
“We try to give back to the community as much as we can so you’ll see our name at several non-profit events and community member in need benefits,” she said.
While catering is still the core business, Great Expectations moved into their current building and opened their eatery for lunch in 2011 so individual patrons would have the opportunity to try their food and service. The eatery is closed to the public in the evenings and on the weekends to be used only for private events.
“Which is very nice. People like that they can have a whole restaurant and not just be in a back room so it works out good,” said Scheide.
When she’s not working at Great Expectations, Scheide enjoys spending time with her three children and doing community work. She volunteers with the Mead Charter Elementary Board, the Central Wisconsin Community Theatre and the South Wood County Humane Society.
The Great Expectations Eatery is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The space is open in the evening for private catered events. Great Expectations is located at 3551 Plover Rd. in Wisconsin Rapids.