We had the good fortune of connecting with David Bondarchuck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Scratch Catering Services (My catering company) honestly happened by accident. When I was a teen I was homeless, and at the shelter they gave me bus token which i used to ride the city bus down to the public library. There I immersed myself in books, and discovered Martha Stewart. I thought that this lady would help me to live the “beautiful life” something that actually seemed attainable, if I worked hard and everyday to better myself. Soon I returned to school, graduated, and started building a better live for myself. One thing I realized early on that while making things “from scratch” was fun and yielded better results- I was often left with so much excess. Knowing what it was like not to have anything, I started giving away my baked goods, and inviting people over for dinner when I tested new recipes. I wanted to make life beautiful. I didn’t want to be seen as a poor former homeless-man, I wanted people to see me the person. Pretty soon the people whom I invited for dinner and shared my creations with started requesting my services to help make their special occasions- more special! and Boom! Scratch Catering Services Denver was born.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am, what I’d consider, “a boutique caterer”! I create menus exclusively from scratch! When my grandfather passed away from cancer, I started to think about the food of which we use/eat to fuel our bodies. I thought a diet of foods that start from the best ingredients, free and clear of chemicals, factory processed procedures, and just left the simple ingredients shine that it would yield a better result. I like to call it, taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary. Take a jalapeño for example. It’s just a pepper, but if you smoke and dry that jalapeño, that process turns the Jalapeño into a Chipotle, and it can transform the dish into something completely different. I don’t personally believe in factory processed foods, dyes, and/or chemicals. I feel like your meal should come from a Kitchen not a laboratory. Most caterers I consider are “Costco caterers” They visit Costco, buy up god knows what, and simply warm up the food and serve it. Sure, they add extra linens and create a beautiful table that’s visually appealing, but like grandma always said, “You can put lipstick on a pig too! but, at the end of the day it’s still a pig!” But that’s what some of these caterers have to do… When you’re serving a lunch for 300, It may be impossible for most to really offer an all “From Scratch” menu unless you’re very disciplined, organized, and determined. So that’s why I’m a self-professed “boutique caterer!” I can offer a unique experience, whereas most others are just putting lipstick on the pig! I look at each event, as an opportunity. An opportunity to get another job, which leads to another job and so on… Realizing I’m only as great as my current event. In the middle of it all, the client/guest doesn’t care I decorated the White House (Twice), was featured on the Martha Stewart Show with Michelle Obama, Baked on Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship Season 1, or that I’m on 3 live shows a week on local Denver Channels, they just want to know where the meatballs are and when they can eat them! LOL! But the point is, each and every opportunity that comes your way such as an event, a tv spot, even just shaking hands and asking people how they enjoyed the catering as you work the room; It’s ALL an opportunity to blow it out of the water and book future business and create opportunities for yourself! Listen, no one’s gonna walk up to you and present you with an offer you can’t refuse, and you don’t get anything in life you don’t exactly ask for. So, you got to put yourself out there and make it happen for yourself.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a friend visiting, I’d… Cook up a huge meal and serve a nice dinner party right here at my house. I’d set the table with seasonal or the guests favorite flowers and adorn the table with my best china for the moment. I’d serve the guests favorite dishes. I’d create a playlist of songs that would accompany the evening with a fun and unintrusive soundtrack. MY whole goal is to create an experience. In life you may not recall what you ate, what you received, what you wore, or what exactly you may have done, but you’ll always recall how someone made you feel. I want people to feel at home, enjoy themselves, and remember an evening or weekend forever. However, in case I haven’t answered the question 100% to your liking… I Love Visiting the Oxford Hotel’s “The Cruise Room” for a cocktail. I also Love Double Daughters Saloon (Next to Two Fisted Mario’s Pizza)! These spots to me are a couple hidden gems of Denver, in that, that they are fun to visit- and just enjoy a great drink and chill with whomever you’re with. I wish more bars in Denver took mixology more seriously and made drinks like it was a magician performing a trick, whereas these bars and bartenders were more like actors and the bars themselves like theaters. I believe, there’s a-lot of excitement that can be created with cocktails! Just visit the bar on south Broadway called “Adrift” again for me, it’s all about that individual “experience” you just can’t get anywhere else! That’s what people want!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would honestly say, my grandmother. When I was young my grandma retired from Lutheran Medical Center to take care of me, as my mother had to work to support us. But each day me and grandma would bake or cook together. My grandmother always said she’d bake everyday if she didn’t have to eat it. So, we would create things for church, friends, holidays, whatever! It was so much fun and me and grandma grew so close. In fact, when I ended up at the homeless shelter I longed for that feeling of connection. I think that’s what brought me to visit the library in the first place. I ended up at the library reading cookbooks. to me it was somewhat comforting.