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Meet Betty Fraser, Denise DeCarlo of Dish Functional, Inc in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Betty Fraser, Denise DeCarlo.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Denise and I were waitresses together at a well known pizza joint, and we weren’t loving it. We knew we had a passion for cooking but without much capital we didn’t know how we would get from point A to point B and get out of these waitress clothes and into a chef jacket. Then a friend asked us to throw them a party….we were so happy and worked so, so hard but we loved every minute of it. One party turned into two, then four, then eight and we started our catering company, As You Like It Catering and started feeding the masses. We were cooking out of rented kitchens and needed to find out own space since our business was growing. A friend of ours, Jill, stumbled across this cute little house hidden in the middle of post production Hollywood. The rent was 1700.00 a month in 2001 and we had one of our clients that booked us religiously every month and paid us 1700.00, so we thought, hey, we got this! That’s how green we were to being a small business, but we just had faith that it would work out. We went to the bank, and they gave us a 5k loan, and that’s how we opened the business! Money was tight, but we were happy, and Grub was born! We had so many lessons to learn, some very expensive, but we did it and now 17 years later we have the sweetest, cutest restaurant hidden in a little area of Hollywood. We feed production folk, actors, directors, producers, writers…we feed the people that make movies, and they are spectacular, and through those people we continue to cater fantastic parties for folks all over Los Angeles County.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We can remember very early on having 300.00 in the bank and someone from the City walked in and handed us a bill for 300.00, for some city service, we had a lot of things to learn about running a small business. Money was always tight. We’d get a little bit a head and then something big would break, plumbing issues, the oven blew, someone wanted a raise, insurance went up, it was tough.

Please tell us about Dish Functional, Inc.
Dish Functional, Inc is a food service corporation that has As You Like It Catering and Grub Restaurant. We feed the people of Los Angeles. We are known for really creative versions of familiar comfort food dishes at Grub, and having a really beautiful and delicious selection of food for all of our catering clients. Grub is also really well known for our Crack Bacon, Denise and I are most proud of the fact that we truly started with nothing and here we are 17 years later still feeding the masses, it’s not easy to make it in Hollywood, but with hard work and a can do attitude (I know that sounds super hokey, but it’s true!) we have worked through the kinks, and made it work. Denise and I were even chosen as Heroes of Hollywood by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for bringing great food to Hollywood, and turning a little house into a really well known little restaurant. Denise and I truly believe that our staff is our family and that whenever anyone comes to Grub, that they become part of that family. Our staff is hand selected because of their sincerity and kindness, we truly like NICE PEOPLE, and you can feel this when you enter Grub, and have us cater events. If you read our reviews, you will see that our friendly staff is almost always mentioned, that makes us feel very good.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Betty: I remember being 8 years old and wanting to cook. I wanted to make mozzarella sticks but my mom wouldn’t let me use the fryer! I was just mesmerized by recipes!

Denise: I was raised in Little Rock Arkansas, and we’d go to my grandparent’s farm, and sit on the tailgate of the pick up truck that had the hay in it and the cows would come to us and we’d feed them and they would then follow us behind the truck while we lead them to the nighttime pasture.

Pricing:

  • Dishes range from 7.95-16.95
  • Catering starts around 15.00 per person based on minimum
  • Beer and Wine catering starts around 10.00 per person based on minimum

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