It's been a year of a lot of challenges, especially for those in the culinary business. When things shut down for the hospitality industry there were a lot of immediate fears for everyone in it especially those who rely on business not only from a restaurant or store front, but for those too who work on providing the food for large gatherings with their catering resources and deliciousness. I'd imagine that the last thing on anyone in the food service industry's mind was the annual Taste of Muskegon weekend we normally get, but like most anything else, their worries were put to rest as the congregating in a concentrated in a spot like Hackley Park, well..that got cancelled too, so there went taste. Or did it?
Muskegon's not known for taking things lying down. Not for a second. No way, nu uh, not gonna happen. Some out of the box thinkers got together and got to work on some ideas. Can't have all the restaurants in one place? No problem. Let's make the festival mobile. Can't have cooking demo's on site? Piece of cake! We'll tape them and show them to the entire world instead of who's at the park for the day. Entertainment? Let's quadruple the audience buy putting the acts on Facebook live and give them a chance to be seen by anyone, anywhere. What started off as a "wet blanket" over an event turned into a digital and culinary spectacle, and while we certainly hope that 2021 gives us the camaraderie back we know and love, we've found some pretty awesome new ways to see, and taste the better side of all things Muskegon!
With that, the eating commenced! The entertaining commenced. Chef's chosen by Kitchen 242 got their moment in the spotlight and thousands upon thousands enjoyed the sights and sounds of the "Virtual Tate of Muskegon 2020". The "expert" judges hit the trail to try tucked away little spots you might never think to venture into and the people got their vote as well with QR codes placed at the participating eateries giving them the chance to give a virtual "thumbs up" to their choice. One had to come out on top with the people's choice award in 2020 and that was Corine's Cakes and Catering! Funny story? During the awards presentation, Corine was actually busy working and she had to catch the re-run later in the evening to let the reality set in.
Beginning all the way back as a little girl, Corine's love of food and what food does is what she's based her entire career on. "Food brings people together, and makes people happy". How can you ask for more than that as a mission statement? She learned her skills as a family affair. Some early lessons in things that might not have been so exciting to a young gal led to seeing the big picture early one and knowing that she could turn a passion into a business. She's done just that. Now based in the Lakes Mall and working on opening a second location soon, even during the COVID stuff, Corine and staff have held together and are back busier than ever and setting up catering events across the state and even in the Midwest.
It was our great honor to visit with this years winner of the People's Choice Award! Corine Rose herself. We distanced up at the Lakes Mall and learned how the once little girl in the kitchen has applied all those years of family know how into a great business for all to enjoy. Take a listen.
There ya have it! Home grown magic! Lovin' from the oven. A sprinkle of deliciousness? How ever you want to describe it, she's living the dream and as Corine mentioned to me in an off air discussion... "All the sweat and tears I've put into my business....I am just so excited." You should be Corine. You show us all how to be better and we're thankful for the example set, the passion behind it and for the care you put in to everyone you serve. People's Choice speaks volumes and the people have spoken. You make us all better Corine!
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