Meet the Hitched Team: Catering Director Leslianne Love-Lake of Old Carolina Barbecue Company

Riiiiiiiibs by Old Carolina Barbecue Co.

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HItched: What first interested you in Special Events Catering Management?

Old Carolina Barbecue’s Leslianne Love-Lake: I have always been interested in the restaurant business, food trends, cooking and pretty things! When I was a child I wanted to be a chef, that quickly changed in college when I realized how hot a kitchen truly is and I didn’t really get to interact with the public.

H: How long have you been serving wedding clients?

LL-L: I have been with Old Carolina Barbecue for 4 years but have been working in the Catering/Events business for 18 years.

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Simply Styled.  Old Carolina's Rustic Menu Board at a Venue Open House.

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H: How would you describe your style?

LL-L: My personal style – comfortable – I am too busy to be fussy about clothing, hair, make-up etc – I’m put together but in a professional COMFORTABLE way! My work style – straight forward – I am a rules person I love to have fun but I keep it professional and I put my foot down when I have to. Event style – I love Rustic, DYI, Shabby Chic, Barn Weddings, Nautical and Folk.

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Teamwork.  Leslianne with Some of her Serving Staff.

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H: Brag a little.  You recently won two awards for your outstanding work with Old Carolina Barbecue.  Tell us about them.

LL-L: In September of 2013 I was recognized by the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce by receiving the 30 for the Future Award and last month (February 2014) I received the Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award® from the Akron/Canton Sales and Marketing Executives International.

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OCBC's Roasted Turkey with Salad.

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H: What do you enjoy most serving wedding clients?

LL-L: I enjoy serving all my clients for the same reason. Weather it’s a company picnic, retirement, funeral or wedding we are helping them celebrate a special life event – everyone has their own take on things and it’s like a different job every day – it keeps things fun and interesting!

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A More Casual Presentation - Sliders for a Less Formal Event.

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H: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a catering company for their wedding reception?

LL-L: With catering a lot of the decision comes down to budget, which some times is a shame but also is a blessing for us because our pricing is very reasonable and bonus our food is REALLY good. Also beware when booking a caterer – they may come in with a low price per person but that doesn’t include the plus, plus, plus they add – service charges, gratuity and taxes can hike up that price 40% or more. We include those in our price per person – I like to keep things easy – cut and dry and fair.

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Saucy!  Old Carolina Barbecue Co.'s Signature Line of Sauces.

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H: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?

LL-L: Will I be at my clients events? Most of time I make an appearance but we do have several weekends or days when we have 20+ weddings or events and it’s nearly impossible for to be at more than 3-4 places in a day. Our team leaders take my place when I can’t be there – we have weekly meetings during our busy season where they are given 100% of the details and run the events just as I would.

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More of The OCBC Team at a Venue Open House.

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H: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team,” and what are your colleague pet peeves? How can your “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day? 

LL-L: I am truly blessed to know the people I do – I treat them as I would want to be treated so I hope they feel the same about me. I am happy to be part of the Hitched Team because I LOVE Anna-Jeannine Herman of SNE and Brittany Mullet of CVNP. I know I can count on them and if they are involved we should be too!

LA Headshot

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About Leslianne Love-Lake: I am wife to Brian, mother to Ana & Tatum (14 year old twins) and dog mommy to Emily & Skyler. I absolutely love my career – I don’t call it a job because it doesn’t feel like one. For Old Carolina Barbecue Co I am in charge of Catering for the entire company – I oversee two Catering Sales Managers, a Catering Coordinator, 15 Team Leaders and 30-50 seasonal catering staff as well as sell catering for our Stow and Fairlawn locations (Summit, Portage & Medina Co’s).

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About Old Carolina Barbecue Company: Old Carolina Barbecue Co. opened it’s first restaurant in 2006 and has grown to 8 locations in that time. We will be opening our first out of state location in April 2014.

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