In this ‘Chamber Spotlight’ Blog series, we get to know the businesses which make eastern CT a great place to live, work, and play. Get to know Ivy’s Simply Homemade, our 2016 Small Business of the Year, in the interview below.
Ivy’s Simply Homemade
Address: 316 Boston Post Road, Waterford
Phone Number: (860) 442-8646
Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed Sundays.
Tell us something about Ivy’s Simply Homemade.
We offer homemade food for a busy life.
Why did you start Ivy’s? If it was to fill a gap or address a challenge, tell us a little bit about it.
We started our business after I realized that I was eating out three times a day while working full time. My schedule was crazy and very inconsistent so I never had a desire to cook at home. I started looking into our concept and when talking with those in our community many felt the same way I did. Many people were eating quick drive through or take out many nights a week.
What aspect of operating Ivy’s are you passionate about? Can you provide us with any specific examples?
I love to cook. If I could cook whatever I wanted all day, that would make me so happy! I love talking and having interaction with our clients, we live in such a great community.
What is your best or most popular item and why?
Every day it’s different, after six years there is still no rhyme or reason to our sales. Most days it’s our salads or sandwiches. Right now our Shepherd’s Pie is very popular.
Did you introduce any new items or services recently? What are they?
When I opened I said I would never cater again. That lasted about six months We now cater about twenty-five weddings and special events a year along with many business luncheons or after hours events and smaller parties. Having a great team around me makes catering very pleasant, and seems like less work now!
How would your clients/customers describe Ivy’s?
“Service is Always great! And food was even better!!” “I am still smiling about my daughter’s wedding catered by Ivy’s. Ivy’s provides an event coordinator – ours was Karen and she was fabulous. She was on top of all the details and had our event running smoothly. The hors d’oeuvres were plentiful and delicious and the plated salad and buffet meal were all appealing in presentation and quite tasty. The servers were efficient but not at all obtrusive. The reception was everything I had hoped for and more! As mother of the bride I was worried I would be asked all sorts of questions during the evening but Ivy’s staff handled everything – my husband and I were able to just enjoy the moments. I whole-heartedly recommend Ivy’s (and Karen was superb).”
Why should new people come to Ivy’s?
We offer many options for everyone in the family! On a cold day come check out our hot soup specials or a sweet treat for after dinner!
Why do people return to Ivy’s?
I hope it’s for the truly homemade food, in this crazy busy world Mom’s not necessarily home cooking all day anymore. My goal since day one has been to provide homemade food for a busy life. I didn’t want to cook fancy expensive foods, I wanted it to be affordable, something families could eat a few nights a week.
Is there something unique or unusual about Ivy’s that when people first hear about it, they tend to say “Wow – I didn’t know that!”
While we are not a gluten-free facility we have very high standards when dealing with gluten-free items. We have many celiac clients that are able to eat from our facility who are not able to eat at certain other restaurants.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Ivy’s?
Ivy’s is a woman-owned business and I live right here in Waterford. While I wish I could donate to everything and everyone that come that comes in, I do try to give as much as possible to local sports teams, school fundraisers, and local charities. We love being a part of our community and interacting with our clients!