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Meet David Solesbee of Belle Fete Catering in Los Angeles and Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Solesbee.

Thanks for sharing your story with us David. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started in the food industry as a manufacturer of low-fat, frozen pizzas. I co-founded “Heaven’s Bistro” in 1996, and by 2000 we had a distribution network of over 2,200 retail locations, including Trader Joe’s, Costco, Walmart, Target, etc. However, after discovering that several unscrupulous partners had embezzled from the company, and a lengthy federal court case that followed (which I eventually won), I was forced to close the company. With a new wife and a baby on the way, I went back to my cooking roots and started Belle Fete Catering. I am happy to say that with hindsight, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I am still following my passion and have enjoyed creating new successes.

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?
Although I have been very fortunate with Belle Fete’s longevity and continued growth, the collapse of the housing and stock market in 2008 had a significant impact on my business for a few years. Understandably, catering and other “luxury item” industries were put on hold for many people – most of my clients minimized their entertaining.

Thankfully, Belle Fete Catering quickly regained traction, which I credit in large part to loyal clients (many of whom have also become friends) and word-of-mouth referrals.

Belle Fete Catering – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I take great pride in using the finest, freshest ingredients. My family owns a farm and vineyard in the Virginia wine country, and we are developing a line of fruit wines which will soon be offered along with the catering services. “Solesbee Vineyards” is currently growing five grape varietals, which should start producing next year.

I also source many catering ingredients from the farm. One of the most popular menu items is the “Virginia Blackberry Cobbler”. The blackberries grown on the farm are absolutely amazing, which is why I have them flown in frequently!

I am also extremely proud of my staff, who I consider to be the best in the industry. Great service and a happy, friendly staff are as important as the food we are serving, in my opinion.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One of my greatest accomplishments is having several clients who also happen to be chefs or restaurant owners, who continue to hire me to cater for their own personal events. It is a great honor to be hired by your peers.

Also, I was recently contacted by the producers of “The World’s Greatest”, a TV show that profiles businesses that are considered to be at the top of their profession. Although I qualified from a quality and interest standpoint, they were looking to feature a much larger catering company. It was still an incredible honor to be chosen for consideration.

Pricing:

  • Hors d’oeuvres range from $5 – $8 per person, per item (in general/average).
  • Salads, sides and desserts average $6 per person.
  • Entrees range from $8 – $25 per person, per item, on average.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
David Solesbee, Beth Mondillo, Amanda Patrice, Albert Loekito

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