After two decades in the “cater-taining” business, the culinary couple behind Tulips & Maple — Mark van der Pas and Kristine van der Pas-Norenius — have learned a few lessons of success.
And at their 20th anniversary party last week, they shared some with their guests.
One that stuck out? Follow the three T’s: Trust, truth and taste.
Local Tourist Ottawa checked out the food-filled fest, along with more than a few dozen others. It’s evident that Tulips & Maple definitely know how to throw a party. (Could have something to do with catering so many over the years ….)
But beyond the amazing food, the fun was in the details. Coming back to the rule of letters, the event was planned to a ‘T’.
From a note-stuffed bun that welcomed guests and told them about a clue-based scavenger hunt and the “champagne ceiling” served by staff on stilts, to a pepper-infused rye cocktail served with the flair bartending styles of Steve Benson, the party will filled with creative touches.
Since Mark and Kristine met and fell in love before starting their business, it is fitting that marriage is a good way to describe a lot of what Tulips & Maple does. Their food is a great blend of flavour and fun, their combination of passion and professionalism is the reason why they’re likely Ottawa’s best-known catering companies and even their name — Tulips & Maple — is a mix of the couple’s two backgrounds: Dutch and Canadian.
LTOttawa spoke with Tulips & Maple in advance of last Wednesday’s party and learned that the company started out of a basement in Manotick in 1991. It’s now grown to employ more than 40 people and occupies an 8,000 square-foot space. Mark and Kris are also in the process of launching a sister company, Great Canadian Plates, to cater to the Capital Exhibition Centre come January 2012.
Still, the best way to understand what Tulips & Maple is all about is to check out the grub:
Oh! And check out Ron Eade’s Omnivore’s Ottawa blog for the other 19 lessons Mark and Kristine have learned over the years.
Do you know of a cool local company or business we should be highlighting? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.