Bitch Biz: Heirloom Catering and Bitches Who Brunch are partners. While this article was written independently by Bitches Who Brunch, we do receive compensation from the company.
The name behind Heirloom Catering and Event Design has special meaning given the full-service event company stemmed from founder Vicky Theodorou’s family’s history in the restaurant and catering business. Her love of food and event planning only grew after college when she gained a reputation for her expertly executed dinner parties. When her brother asked her to head up the catering side of the family business, Vicky brought her love of food and fashion to the table and committed to putting out food that tasted and looked just as good.
Vicky took advantage of her talents by starting Heirloom Catering, which specializes in all aspects of event design, including custom seasonal menus and unforgettable tablescapes. Just a short time after starting Heirloom, she has grown the brand into a million dollar business and is hosting some of the area’s most stylish (and delicious) events. We recently sat down with Vicky to talk building a business, event planning tips, and her take on brunch. Read on to see what she had to say.
Your family is rooted in the food and culinary industry. How did they influence you to get into the career you have today?
I always grew up around food and my culture is deep-rooted in food and entertaining, so I was catering and working at restaurants at a young age. I cooked for myself throughout college and, post-college, did a lot of entertaining with friends, so it was really a natural progression for me. I really enjoy making people happy with food so it was a really a coming together of universes when I tried to make a transition out of the marketing and technology world and my family asked me to come to DC and run with the catering business, which led to me starting Heirloom.
What motivated you from going to the catering business into a full blown event planning service?
Catering for us was never just catering of simple deli platters or anything like that. It was always providing yummy food that was artistically presented. I have a background in fashion and I worked in Italy with Chanel and Maserati, so I’ve always had a passion for fashion and pretty things. So when I came in five years ago, I took that into the food styling and presented it as fashionable and that led to event styling. It was all word of mouth and it’s based on credibility and reliability. You get one event referral and then you get three more events. I started taking on the table styling and learned how to do things myself, so I naturally became a tablescape artist and styled platters, which came together because we’re marrying the look of the food and the space. We got a lot of positive feedback, so I continued to do it and make it into its own service.
What do you think are the most important aspects to think about first when planning your event?
The first thing to think about is logistics. Where is the venue and what can you do to maximize that space? You have to be realistic about what you can do and then take that to the next level. From there, the vision comes to life with, styling, food, and the details. You can make up for what the space doesn’t have by bringing your own stuff into the space. You need to know what you’re working with first and then create any solutions you need.
Many a Bitch finds themselves on a budget. What are some your best money-saving tips?
If you can provide your own beverages that definitely is a simple detail that is not too much stress on the person planning the event and it will save you money. We’re really fair with our pricing, but it will save you money on your beer, wine, and cocktails.
What is the craziest custom request you’ve ever gotten?
I once got asked if we could serve food out of a cowboy boot. My response was we can make that happen, but we could also just make a floral arrangement out of a cowboy boot or hat if you want to go with a Southern theme.
Where is your favorite place to brunch in town?
I love Masa 14 for their bottomless brunch, especially their pork belly bahn mi buns.
What is your favorite dish to cook for brunch?
I love making mini quiche or individual frittatas and a build-your-own parfait bar with seasonal bouquets from the market. I would also make mini pancake stacks so they are bite size and top them with fresh berries.
Do you prefer to brunch in or out?
I definitely like to go out and just be a part of the brunch scene. I go out to get together with the girls and gab over some yummy food and cocktails.
What brunch item do you have to order if it’s on the menu?
I have to order brioche French toast. Cava has a great one I like.
Do you prefer Mimosas or Bloody Marys?
I always prefer a Bellini.
If you could invite a group of local celebrities to brunch, who would it be?
My ideal brunch group would be Ellen Kassoff Gray of Equinox, Susan Lacz the CEO of Ridgewells, Ashley Biden, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Rose Privete of Compass Rose, and Mika Brzezinski from Morning Joe. A mix of entrepreneurial power women, girl bosses, and all around interesting people – would love to hear their stories and learn from each other (and, of course, find out how they like their eggs in case we cater their next event).