- November 14, 2021
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Midland business leaders gather to celebrate the grand opening of the new location for The Menu Manager on Nov. 11, 2021 at 309 Dartmouth Drive. The Menu Manager is a catering business.
Owner of the Menu Manager, Kelly Osborn, celebrates the grand opening of the new location on Nov. 11, 2021 at 309 Dartmouth Drive. The Menu Manager is a catering business.
Midland business leaders gather to celebrate the grand opening of the new location for the Menu Manager on Nov. 11, 2021 at 309 Dartmouth Drive. The Menu Manager is a catering business.
During a time when many businesses in the hospitality industry had to close, one Midland catering company came back stronger than before.
The Menu Manager held the grand opening of its new location on Thursday, a culmination of a challenging year for the business. The grand opening was attended by many business leaders in the city.
Owner Kelly Osborn said the business began 20 years ago as an easy meal prep studio where busy families would come and make their meals for the week or month. The business later switched to a corporate catering service, but she said it still offers premade meals for busy families once a month. Osborn describes the food as classic comfort food with a twist.
The Menu Manager used to be located on Eastman Avenue behind Asian Express. However, global events forced the business away from Midland.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Osborn said they were not able to afford the space due to no events taking place. The Menu Manager had to move into another catering business that Osborn owned in the Saginaw area. The Menu Manager was away from Midland from October 2020, to May 2021, catering for hospitals.
However, the Midland Business Alliance and Midland Area Community Foundation presented an opportunity that helped the catering business. The program, called Regrow Midland, was designed to help the struggling hospitality industry while also helping people recover from the flood and pandemic. It paid for businesses to make meals that would be donated to places like the North Midland Family Center or The Bridge Food Center.
This program helped provide a consistent income for The Menu Manager to get a mortgage for its new location at 309 Dartmouth Drive. The business moved in during the summer, building up its dining room before the grand opening.
The grand opening featured many members of the Midland Business Alliance, including a speech from MBA President and CEO Tony Stamas. After a celebratory ribbon cutting, everyone had a chance to get a bite to eat in the cozy dining space.
Recently, The Menu Manager catered the Dow Tennis Classic, which resulted in the business’s busiest week ever with over 11,000 meals served. Osborn said she plans to hold classes on a variety of cooking techniques starting next year, along with hosting private dinners.
“I feel like the hospitality poster child from COVID,” Osborn said. “We had to hold on, it was tough. But when you are an entrepreneur, you don’t know how to let go. You just wait for an opportunity.
“We were going to gain some muscle from it, (and) we are not going to exit COVID on our back hunches. We are going to be up and ready.”
Andrew Mullin is a reporter for the Midland Daily News.