Bizwatch: Catering By Design |

Bizwatch: Catering By Design

Firm focuses on catering and event design and decor

Business name: Catering by Design

Location: Denver, Vail and Aspen

Date opened: 1996

Owners: Ingrid and Cade Nagy

Contact information: Call Beret Kroeger, 970-209-5589 or email

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What goods or services do you provide? Catering and event design and décor for clients who are forward-thinking and care about the product and service as much as we do.

What’s new or exciting at your place? The elements we have added after COVID-19 include a creative director, creative chef, carpenter and graphic designer, who work together with our six event designers to produce innovative and noteworthy events.

What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? Our training and core processes. Our new employees are put through a lengthy class on culture and the core processes for their individual job functions. Following the initial training we have certified trainers on each event to continuously teach and ensure that each member of our team understands and adheres to all processes along with our Three Steps of Service:

  • Warm and authentic greeting
  • Anticipatory service
  • The practice of gratitude

We are primarily a scratch kitchen with our own pastry chef and our food is prepared and served fresh on site.

What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? Every client, regardless of their event’s size and budget, receives our Three Steps of Service throughout the process of planning their event. Our purpose, cause and passion is to make people happy through creativity and collaboration.

What do your customers expect from you? A higher level of food quality than they have received at a catered event in the past. We bring a restaurant experience to guests, whether it’s formal, fun or casual. Staffing levels are also at a higher level than typical to ensure that guests and clients experience luxury service even at a casual event.

Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: Catering by Design has been producing noteworthy events for 25 years. Our COO was a member of the launch team for its off-premise catering division at Hyatt Hotels Corp., followed by six years with Ritz-Carlton and owner of her own luxury catering firm where she produced significant events including the opening of the Nordstrom and Tiffany stores in Denver before taking the helm of Catering by Design five years ago.

What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? We were challenged to produce the three-day event for Virgin Galactic’s future astronaut community — along with their VIP guests — gathered to celebrate the 2017 total solar eclipse. Because the path of totality passed through North America and was best seen in eastern Idaho, the client wanted to celebrate the local environment, which led them to Rancher Ralph’s back 40 acres sandwiched between two very small towns at the base of the Grand Tetons.

We brought the field to life with glamorous furnished tents, toilets and showers and an event space that we transformed each night with an around-the-clock bar and espresso bar. We sent a crew of 60 to ensure that the 250 guests received five-star service and restaurant-style service.

There was no ability to have food delivered to the site, so whatever we packed needed to last us through the setup days. At every meal approximately half the guests needed a modification. They forgot they were in the middle of nowhere — and that was our mission. While this wasn’t exactly “funny,” it was interesting to satisfy all the guests’ demands from this remote location.

Tell your story!

Tell the story of your Vail Valley business with a Bizwatch feature in the Vail Daily. To learn more, call Business Editor Scott Miller at 970-748-2930 or email

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