Blog

Mar21

Vendors We Adore: Leslianne Love-Lake of Old Carolina Barbecue Company

Schmoozing.  DJ AJ9 and Leslianne at the 2013 Torchbearers 10th Anniversary Reception.

Schmoozing. DJ AJ9 and Leslianne at the 2013 Torchbearers 10th Anniversary Reception. Photo by Studio Akron.

.

Over the last few years, Old Carolina Barbecue Company has become a popular choice among our brides for several reasons: 1.) they offer a menu that’s simplistically in-line with the aesthetic vision of many of our rustic brides, 2.) they have straightforward and very competitive pricing, and 3.) they have great food and a following from their retail restaurants in Northeast Ohio.  In recent years, they’ve added new offerings to their catering packages — like hors d’oeuvres, cake cutting service, and upgraded place settings — geared specifically towards bridal clients.

.

Old Carolina's Ultimate Barbecue Catering Package.

Old Carolina’s Ultimate Barbecue Catering Package.  Yum.

The Belle of the Ball.  DJ AJ9 with Leslianne Minutes After Leslianne and Brian's April 2013 Wedding Reception.

The Belle of the Ball. DJ AJ9 with Leslianne Minutes After Leslianne and Brian’s April 2013 Wedding Reception.

.

We first met Old Carolina Barbecue Company’s Director of Catering, Leslianne Love-Lake, in 2009, when she accepted a position with Old Carolina Barbecue Company after working in Private Dining for a several years.  We got to know her well, though, while she was planning her own wedding in April of 2013.

.

That’s right — Leslianne (or “LA,” as her friends know her) is also a Something New Bride!

.

In that time, we’ve also worked together on several Weddings, Venue Open Houses, and Charity Events like Hitched.  We always look forward to seeing her, because she has a natural talent for organization, and she’s a caring force with our clients.

.

Now: on to more pictures of roasted meat and the interview!
Riiiiiiiibs by Old Carolina Barbecue Co.

Riiiiiiiibs by Old Carolina Barbecue Co.

.
Something New Entertainment’s Anna-Jeannine “DJ AJ9” Herman: What first interested you in Special Events Catering Management?

Old Carolina Barbecue’s Leslianne Love-Lake: I have always been interested in the restaurant business, food trends, cooking and pretty things! When I was a child I wanted to be a chef, that quickly changed in college when I realized how hot a kitchen truly is and I didn’t really get to interact with the public.

DJ AJ9: How long have you been serving wedding clients?

LL-L: I have been with Old Carolina Barbecue for 4 years but have been working in the Catering/Events business for 18 years.

.
Simply Styled.  Old Carolina's Rustic Menu Board at a Venue Open House.

Simply Styled. Old Carolina’s Rustic Menu Board at a Venue Open House.

.
DJ AJ9: How would you describe your style?

LL-L: My personal style – comfortable – I am too busy to be fussy about clothing, hair, make-up etc – I’m put together but in a professional COMFORTABLE way! My work style – straight forward – I am a rules person I love to have fun but I keep it professional and I put my foot down when I have to. Event style – I love Rustic, DYI, Shabby Chic, Barn Weddings, Nautical and Folk.

.

Teamwork.  Leslianne with Some of her Serving Staff.

Teamwork. Leslianne with Some of her Serving Staff.

.
DJ AJ9: Brag a little.  You recently won two awards for your outstanding work with Old Carolina Barbecue.  Tell us about them.

LL-L: In September of 2013 I was recognized by the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce by receiving the 30 for the Future Award and last month (February 2014) I received the Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award® from the Akron/Canton Sales and Marketing Executives International.

.

OCBC's Roasted Turkey with Salad.

OCBC’s Roasted Turkey with Salad.

.

DJ AJ9: What do you enjoy most serving wedding clients?

LL-L: I enjoy serving all my clients for the same reason. Weather it’s a company picnic, retirement, funeral or wedding we are helping them celebrate a special life event – everyone has their own take on things and it’s like a different job every day – it keeps things fun and interesting!

.

A More Casual Presentation - Sliders for a Less Formal Event.

A More Casual Presentation – Sliders for a Less Formal Event.

.
DJ AJ9: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a catering company for their wedding reception?

LL-L: With catering a lot of the decision comes down to budget, which some times is a shame but also is a blessing for us because our pricing is very reasonable and bonus our food is REALLY good. Also beware when booking a caterer – they may come in with a low price per person but that doesn’t include the plus, plus, plus they add – service charges, gratuity and taxes can hike up that price 40% or more. We include those in our price per person – I like to keep things easy – cut and dry and fair.

.

Saucy!  Old Carolina Barbecue Co.'s Signature Line of Sauces.

Saucy! Old Carolina Barbecue Co.’s Signature Line of Sauces.

.
DJ AJ9: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?

LL-L: Will I be at my clients events? Most of time I make an appearance but we do have several weekends or days when we have 20+ weddings or events and it’s nearly impossible for to be at more than 3-4 places in a day. Our team leaders take my place when I can’t be there – we have weekly meetings during our busy season where they are given 100% of the details and run the events just as I would.

.

More of The OCBC Team at a Venue Open House.

More of The OCBC Team at a Venue Open House.

.
DJ AJ9: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team,” and what are your colleague pet peeves? How can your “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day? 

LL-L: I am truly blessed to know the people I do – I treat them as I would want to be treated so I hope they feel the same about me. I am happy to be part of the Hitched Team because I LOVE Anna-Jeannine Herman of SNE and Brittany Mullet of CVNP. I know I can count on them and if they are involved we should be too!

LA Headshot

Photo by Vicki Lantz

.

About Leslianne Love-Lake: I am wife to Brian, mother to Ana & Tatum (14 year old twins) and dog mommy to Emily & Skyler. I absolutely love my career – I don’t call it a job because it doesn’t feel like one. For Old Carolina Barbecue Co I am in charge of Catering for the entire company – I oversee two Catering Sales Managers, a Catering Coordinator, 15 Team Leaders and 30-50 seasonal catering staff as well as sell catering for our Stow and Fairlawn locations (Summit, Portage & Medina Co’s).

.

About Old Carolina Barbecue Company: Old Carolina Barbecue Co. opened it’s first restaurant in 2006 and has grown to 8 locations in that time. We will be opening our first out of state location in April 2014.

OCBC Logo

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *