FESTIVE BOARD CATERING & DELI INC
Great food, great service, and a great night! Not only was the food good but they made sure all the details were taken care of and the night went smoothly!
We had a complete custom menu. Cakes are fantastic (especially the white cake with raspberry and buttercream). Our venue did not have full kitchen available, but Ed and his team pulled off a wonderful meal that everyone enjoyed.
I really loved our caterer. They were willing to make any type of food for our reception. They were very well organized. Were at a very reasonable price and had great food. We got so many complements. I really loved how they provided everything. We had 2 bartenders, they did the cake, the food, and all the set-up and clean up.
The Festive Board did an amazing job from set up to tear down and clean up with our wedding. My friends who helped set up the decorations couldn't stop raving about what a great help they were, just going above and beyond the expectations. We had a wonderful experience with this vendor!
I hired Festive Board Catering, owned by Ed Abendschoen, in February 2011 to cater my wedding orginally planned for August 31, 2012. From the beginning, the owner was nice, courteous, accomodating, and flexible. We hired Festive Board catering BECAUSE they were so accomodating and flexible. The owner told us from the very first meeting that we can change anything we want as many times as we want up to about a week or so before the event. He told me, my mother, and my fiancee, that if we were to change anything at all, we can adjust and recalculate the price accordingly. Meaning, if I overpaid, there would be a refund to me, or if I owed money, I would be responsible to pay that. I was also informed that we would meet at the reception venue approximately 6 weeks out from the date of service to discuss and finalize the menu, table placements, etc. I wanted a buffet style dinner served and this is what was discussed with Ed. During our inital meeting with Ed, we informed him that we would have 75 people maximum coming to our wedding, but it was likely to decrease greatly.
I signed the contract on February 5, 2011. At the bottom of the contract, which was a one page form with a clause stating, "All deposit monies are non-refundable if the second party decides not to use the first party for the above specified services." I am listed as the second party, the catering business as the first. The contract states that the first party (Festive Board Catering) agrees to "provide services and menu attached at Lauxmont Farm Rotunda on August 31, 2012 based on 56 people." The contract says 56 beause I told Ed I wanted to reduce the head count to that number before signing. Upon signing, I paid $1,200.00 on February 5, 2011 as a deposit, with the remaining monies due by September 30th, 2012.
A week or so later, I contacted Ed to speak about moving the date up. With most of my family being from Virginia and most of my fiancee's family being from Pennsylvania and all of them being older, we wanted to get married sooner to ensure our loved ones would be there for our wedding. We wanted to move the wedding to August 2011. Ed informed me that he could not possibly take on another wedding in the summer of 2011, but after explaining the situation to the owner, he gave me a list of dates that I could choose from that he could do, after repeatedly informing me there would be no refund even though all I wanted to do was move the date, not cancel. We agreed on Augusut 14, 2011 being the date that Festive Board would provide food and services. I then went into the business on February 19, 2011 and paid $953.00 for the remaining balance after asking Ed to remove the wedding cake from the agreement. Ed seemed that he did not want to change anything from the original draft he came up with during our inital meeting, although he said anything could be changed as many times as I wanted. He also repeatedly told me that even if I changed the food items or reduced the head count, we were getting down to the "nuts and bolts" of his service and at this point, the labor and service (people setting up, serving, and cleaning) was the most expensive piece of my contract.
On Friday, July 8, 2011 I called Ed, the owner, because he had yet to contact me to discuss or schedule a meeting at the reception hall. He did not answer his phone, but did return my message quite promptly. He left me a voicemail saying that unless I had a "burning desire" to discuss something with him that day, he would talk to me early the next week because he was busy preparing for another wedding. The next week, he had not contacted me by Tuesday evening. I called him, on his cell phone, at approximately 6:30 p.m. He did not answer and I left a voicemail stating I wanted to meet up with him. He called me back around noon the next day, Wednesday, but unfortunately I missed that call. I called him back within 10 minutes of his call and he did not answer. He did not call back later that day (Wednesday), the next day, or by 10:00 am on Friday. On July 13, 2011, I sent him two e-mails. He says he never got those.
On July 15, 2011, my mother and I went into Festive Board deli, which is where the catering business is operated out of, to speak with Ed. When he came to greet us, he asked how I was. I stated, "Well, I've been better." His tone immediately turned from cheerful to rude and arrogant. He said, "Well, first of all, we're four weeks away from the wedding, not three. Secondly, I did call you twice the other day." I became a bit defensive and told him he called me once around 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday and never called me back after that. He directed my mother and I into a more private area of the deli to speak. I tried to speak to him to discuss my concerns, but he repeatedly called me "honey" and "sweetie" and insisted I "calm down" and "relax." I was getting more and more frustrated with Ed because he kept interrupting me. He repeatedly told us he had other brides that had bigger problems. He informed us that he had two new weddings to attend to that came into his business six weeks before the event to hire him. This upset me even more considering he gave me a hard time about changing my wedding date to this year, since he was too busy to possibly take on another wedding. I turned away from him because I became a little emotional. My mother continued to talk to Ed. She informed him that although we signed a contract for 56 people, we were closer to 40 now and getting smaller. He immediately told her we would not be recieving a refund. I said, "yeah, I wasn't expecting you to give one." My mother told him that we wanted to just pick up the food rather than have his whole crew of people come out and serve our meal. After some talking, he changed our agreement to allow us to come pick up the food. We were no longer getting china, silverware, cups, linens, napkins, or service. Ed repeatedly told me that service was the most expensive thing I was paying for. He told me this when I changed the date, he told me this when I asked about deleting a few food items, and he told me this that day, July 15, 2011. It seemed that no matter what, Ed was not going to "recalculate or adjust" the cost of anything, no matter what I changed.
Also, on July 15, 2011, I filed a complaint with the BBB. Festive Board Catering never replied to the BBB's attempts to contact the business.
After my mother and I left Festive Board, my mother called back in to find out how many trays of each food item we would be recieving, so that we would know how many chafing trays to get. When she called in, the cashier that answered the phone was rude to her when she realized we were the ones that were in the deli earlier that day. Everyone's tone and attitude changed towards us. Ed got on the phone and asked my mother if she had the menu with her. When she said yes, Ed said, "okay, then I can tell you exactly how many chafing trays you'll need." He proceeded to count out loud, and quite sarcastically and rudely, the number of meats and sides we had on the menu. My mother asked how many trays of each item we would be getting, she was told we would get one tray of each food item. My mother asked if there would be 56 servings of each item and she was given the run around saying something along the lines that we won't need 56 of each item because not everyone will eat each item. My mother was also informed that the Pepsi products and drinks we were entitled to were going to given to us in two-liter bottles and gallons. We were told that the punch would be given to us in gallon jugs.
The next day, July 16, 2011, my father went to speak to Ed in person. He tried to explain to Ed that he had always informed me in the past that the price would be adjusted accordingly after any changes and now that we're not getting the service, which he always said was the most expensive thing in the contract, that we should be entitled to some sort of refund or extra food. Ed said he'd think about it over the weekend and get back to us. He never called us.
On or about Monday, August 8, 2011, my father went to speak with Ed in person to confirm everything was still going according to plan. Ed was not at the deli, so my father left his phone number. Roughly 20 minutes later, Ed called my father and informed him that we would have plenty of food and drinks for 56 people since that's what we paid for and that he'd be giving me a refund for the services I was not receiving.
On Sunday, August 14, 2011, my father and grandfather went to pick up the food. We received two trays of each food item except for the pork loin and tortellini. We only received one tray of those items. We agreed to get Pepsi products. Although we did have some pepsi products, we had more coke. We had two gallons of lemonade, two gallons of ice tea. We received punch in a large bucket which had previously had dill pickles in it. You could still smell and taste the pickles in the punch. I refused to serve the punch to our guests. Ed gave me a $300 gift certifcate to his deli in lieu of a refund for the services I did not receive. I had told Ed I didn't want the salad that was on the original contract, and he gave me salad anyway. Although the salad we received was not the salad on the contract. Ed has been unprofessional, rude, and unhelpful towards me since I signed the contract and gave him some money. I will be seeking legal advice.
Festive board was the best choice we could have made for a caterer. We had a buffet dinner for 120 people and cocktails with hors d'oeuvres prior to the dinner. I budgeted $5000 for the food and they kept it right at that budget. The owner was completely hands on in the planning process and the food we had was much higher quality than we paid for. Everyone loved the food. I know this because three months later we went to dinner with a couple that attended and when I asked the husband how his pasta was he said, “not as good as the pasta at your wedding” score a point for me! They did not provide alcohol but when we put it behind the bar they did everything else. I would use them again in a heartbeat and would tell anyone I knew to do the same.