Born of a generous nature and unwavering work ethic, A Catered Affair has been facilitating Omaha events, occasions, and holidays for nearly 15 years. The unassuming name belies a business that provides everything from onsite dining and catering services for gatherings and occasions of all sizes to take-home holiday meals and private aviation.
Amid pandemic cancellations, the company put a temporary hold on a planned move to an 8,000 square foot facility on 134th and State Street. The expansion eventually came to fruition in August 2021, and later that year, co-owner Kathy Silvey opened on that site what she refers to as her “pride and joy:” a dine-in café, deli counter, and retail shop.
Silvey has been in the hospitality industry since college stints as a server and bartender, eventually moving into managerial positions with well-known restaurant corporations. In 2008, she and her husband Scott left the corporate world to build A Catered Affair from the ground up, and the pair hasn’t looked back.
The family-owned company’s core philosophy is to provide quality scratch-made food and attention to detail. Silvey shared her passion for hospitality, “I worked for a gentleman when I was younger who taught me the importance of being kind to people and treating genuinely the people I meet, whether guests in the café or someone at an event in an office or one of my employees. You never know what’s happened to someone before they arrive, so we try to embrace the moment and put smiles on their faces.”
The café seats just under 30 and offers patrons a cozy, warm and welcoming space for work or pleasure. Local artwork lines the walls—much of it created by Silvey’s son—and a retail area near the deli counter displays gourmet food and kitchen items. Silvey trusts her personal taste, stocking intriguing items such as unique sauces, condiments, and seasonings. In addition to artwork available for purchase, locally crafted artisanal items such as hand-blown glass decanters, ceramic bowls, and dishes provide opportunities for shoppers to support local talent.
According to Silvey, many café customers are regulars, popping in daily for coffee, lingering over lunch with friends, or spending a few hours working in the bright, open space. “It’s a popular place for business meetings as well,” she added.
The catering business offers an extensive menu, but the café features a curated breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu of seasonal, well-crafted comfort foods such as dips, pastas, sandwiches, soups and salads. Farm-to-table is reality here, where fresh eggs hail from a nearby farm and microgreens from a neighboring ten-year-old and his brother just across the road. In a cheeky nod to the one-page menu, Silvey joked, “We serve one hamburger not eight.”
Silvey offers a boutique wine list featuring smaller Napa vineyards and Oregon wines along with a menu of unique craft cocktails to accompany café dishes. Aligning with the scratch kitchen philosophy, cocktail ingredients include house-made liquor infusions, fresh herbs, and juices that result in flavor combinations not found elsewhere.
Across all services, a staff of 85 engaged employees serve an average 500 to 1000 people per day, taking pleasure in facilitating client celebrations and gatherings from intimate to elaborate: dinner parties, weddings, showers, cocktail parties, or corporate breakfasts.
The broad catering menu features a range of dishes made from scratch in the onsite kitchen. Silvey teases staff that “they need to taste the love” when preparing the food. The co-owner further explained, “I want our customers to feel like we gave them a hug when they enjoy our food—it should sing, look pretty, and most importantly, taste great.”
Bringing client visions to life requires a positive “can-do” attitude, and the team at A Catered Affair will make every effort to make it happen. When describing event set up and decoration, Silvey shared, “You name it, we have it—a little bit of everything.”
The close-knit team is constantly striving to learn and improve when developing new dishes and menus. “Good is the enemy of great,” Silvey said. “I think we do well as a company to get better every day, searching for better ingredients, or making dishes taste or look better.”
A Catered Affair relishes any opportunity to collaborate and give back to the community, including donating event leftovers to local nonprofit Saving Grace, which ensures the food is used where most needed.
The café is open from 7am – 6pm weekdays, and 8am – 6pm Saturdays. Stop in for a meal or put together a picnic with delectable deli case items and a bottle of wine. Silvey recommends keeping an eye out for live music on Thursdays once the weather warms, as summer hours will extend later in the evening to allow diners to take advantage of the expansive patio and food and service created from scratch, with love.
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