Celebrating Women's History Month
This Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting the fabulous women who have influenced and inspired us throughout Avalon Catering’s history! As a woman-owned business, we draw inspiration from other women in the industry, wise words from famous chefs, close friends, and more.
With over 30 years of service in Atlanta, learn who helped us get to where we are today and who keeps us going. In addition, learn how to support the woman in Atlanta’s sustainable food industry and other woman-owned businesses when booking all your event needs!
Featured image (above) by Kayley Mewbourne @kayley_lorraine at the Meadowlark 1939 @meadowlark1939.
Atlanta Women-Owned Businesses We Love
*Image credits: Smooth as Butter Weddings @smoothasbutterweddings, Caroline Worth Design @carolineworthdesign, Farrah Power @farrahpower
Smooth as Butter is one of the frequent wedding and event coordinators we work with! In their own words, “weddings should be fun – your vendors should be too!” We wholeheartedly believe this and love to be part of events alongside the Smooth as Butter team.
As one of Atlanta’s top designer bridal shops, many of our brides have shopped here over the years. Not only did both of our founder Cathy’s daughters get their wedding dresses from this beloved shop, we even catered The Sentimentalist’s founder’s wedding!
Caroline Worth is a florist we work with regularly throughout Atlanta events! Her beautiful floral designs always add just the right touch to clients’ events. We love getting to collaborate with her visions through tablescapes and venue décor!
The Women of Georgia Organics
Georgia Organics is the oldest statewide nonprofit providing direct support to local and organic farmers. Their mission is to invest in organic farmers for the health of our communities and the land. Georgia Organics has been foundational in supporting Avalon Catering throughout our years and helped us serve delicious plates!
Women Who Have Influenced & Inspired Avalon
*Image credit: Jenna Shea Photography @jennasheaphotography
Some of the biggest culinary influences for our Founder and Executive Chef Cathy Conway range from Julia Child, who first inspired her to get in the kitchen, to her own mom, whose recipes have been on Avalon’s menus for years (namely, the potato salad!). Close friends have also played influential and nourishing roles for us, such as:
- Alice Rolls, food industry leader and President and CEO of Georgia Organics
- Barbara Petit, late chef and food systems advocate as well as past Board President of Georgia Organics
- Virginia Willis, celebrated chef instructor on Food Network Kitchen as well as a James Beard award-winning cookbook author
- Gena Barry, esteemed culinary event producer and founder of Culinary Works
- Tamie Cook, renowned chef of Food Network’s Good Eats and founder of Tamie Cook Culinary Productions
- Julie Shaffer, leading Atlanta chef and founder of Slow Food Atlanta
Further inspiration comes from the entire community of women in food in Atlanta! From the chefs to the farmers to the restaurateurs to the business owners to the food stylists and everything in between. We have made it a priority to support women in food in Atlanta and beyond, and in turn these women have influenced and inspired us!
Words of Wisdom from Women We Admire
- “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients.” – Julia Child
- “To be a good cook you have to have a love of the good, a love of hard work, and a love of creating.” – Julia Child
- “Teaching kids how to feed themselves and how to live in a community responsibly is the center of an education.” – Alice Waters
- “When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary because it tastes like what it is.” – Alice Waters
- “First we eat, then we do everything else.” – M.F.K. Fisher
Industry Organizations We Love
Atlanta Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International
Les Dames d’Escoffier International is an invitational organization of women who are leaders in the culinary field. Our founder Cathy is an Atlanta chapter Dame, alongside other leading Atlanta professional chefs and industry women.
This community of Atlanta Dames is full of incredible chefs, restaurateurs and caterers, farmers, food retailers, event planners, cookbook authors, food journalists, wine industry professionals, food publicists, culinary educators and hospitality executives. We love being part of this group and gaining support and inspiration from this organization of women!
Our founder Cathy has even been recognized by the organization for her incredible talents in the culinary field – what an honor!
Each year, our friends at Community Farmers Markets recognize outstanding womxn in food, farming, and related fields through their Lady Locavores event! Lady Locavores celebrates womxn in the Atlanta local food movement and brings us together in community.
We love the collaborating, drawing inspiration from, and gaining knowledge from all of these incredible womxn! They are what makes the Atlanta local food community so special!
In 2020, Cathy was selected as a Lady Locavores award recipient! We are so thankful for this group!
Cathy Conway (left) alongside 2020 Lady Locavores Award Recipients
*Image credits: Community Farmers Markets @communityfarmersmarkets, Monday Night Garage @mondaynightgarage, Jenna Shea Photography @jennasheaphotography
Ways to Support Women in the Sustainable Food Industry
There are so many ways you can support women in the sustainable food industry! Not only can you follow and support the women and organizations mentioned above, you can:
- Visit women-owned restaurants and bars, or those with incredible women chefs, beverage directors, etc.
- Buy cookbooks written by female chefs
- Sign up to receive Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) from a women-owned farm
- Buy local women-owned food and drink products
Our History as a Woman-Owned Business
Driven by a love for cooking and entertaining, our Executive Chef, Cathy Conway, founded Avalon Catering in 1992. Cathy began attracting others that share her appreciation for carefully prepared food and commitment to the local food movement.
Along the way, we have been joined by our incredible Chef de Cuisine Jenn Robbins, Pastry Chef Aeriel Ross, Director Ann Beaman, and so many more spectacular women.
Together, our expertises have inspired countless menus and stunning events. It has been a joy to bring farm-to-table catering to the Atlanta area for over 30 years with the many women who make up the Avalon team!