When it comes to throwing a memorable party, food shouldn’t take a backseat.
Whether it’s a Bavarian-style pretzel bar, Korean BBQ, funnel cakes or a Southern biscuit bar, Megan Palmer Rivera and her team at Palmer’s Market Catering elevate the party menu.
“Too often, the food just serves as nourishment when it should be a conversation piece,” Megan said. “It’s such a missed opportunity.”
While food is the centerpiece to a successful party, it is just the start to what Palmer’s offers clients. The market’s full-service party planning handles it all — from the invitations and decorations to the party clean-up.
Megan is passionate about creating themes for all occasions and finding delicious ways to connect to those themes. Currently, Palmer’s Catering & Events is prepping for a busy Halloween season and the November-December holidays.
Megan’s love of party planning comes, in part, from her mother’s influence. Cindy Palmer Dean, the market’s co-owner, is also known for her memorable parties.
“I grew up with my mom throwing these elaborate Halloween parties and I just started to love party planning,” Megan said. “I later went to culinary school, earned my pastry degree, and opened the Palmer’s Bakery and Catering. I have my foot in all these different places.”
Palmer’s popular Halloween themes — with menus to match — include Murder in the Library, Zombie Apocalypse in the Ballroom and the Haunted Graveyard, to name a few.
Executing some of Megan’s detailed set-ups wouldn’t be possible without her team at Palmer’s and some added family support.
“We have the bakery, our florist on board, our graphic designers — a lot of our staff have artistic talent,” she said.
Megan’s father, a contractor, can also build just about any prop needed for a party. When a client wanted to throw a food truck party but didn’t have the driveway for it, Palmer’s built a solution.
“We built a food truck window for a client who didn’t have a big driveway,” she said. “We can transport it anywhere. It’s fun piece.”
Her father also built a lighted angel backdrop for a Progressive Caroling party last Christmas season.
“We had a petting zoo outside for the kids and a hot chocolate bar with this wonderful Angel backdrop,” Megan said.
It’s all about attention to detail and going beyond the expected, Megan said.
“Most caterers don’t build you a custom backdrop and hire you a petting zoo,” she said.
Additionally, the full-service options through Palmer’s Catering include booking entertainment, bringing in and creating custom cocktail bars and planning and staffing children’s activities at family parties.
The key to a good Palmer’s party — according to Megan’s mother, Cindy — is a relaxed host, who isn’t stressed about the details. It’s something Cindy always strives for herself.
“Whenever I throw a party, If I’m not the one having the best time, it’s not worth it,” Cindy said.