People ask me why I work so hard… My answer is always the same, “Because it’s mine.” My catering business and the things I do to create these parties cannot be equated monetarily with the love and amount of time I work to make them as close to perfect as possible. It sets off major endorphins. It’s like the best drug I’ve done. The best part of this drug is to see the response of my clients when they open the door. “Shock, Amaze, Delight & Surprise!” When I see that look on people’s faces my job is done.
This is the event I have been waiting for all my catering career life. The many hours I have spent sorting through Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Pier One & Target finally comes to a beautiful peek when I meet my clients Lynne & Nicole. I wasn’t certain when I agreed to meet with them in their home in Cliffside Park New Jersey what is was this event would be about. After sitting down with them and their doggies for over an hour, I realized this was the party I had been prepping for all my life.
This was a party for a beautiful spirited lady named Grace, who lived her life in full. I feel like I cannot give the proper accolades to describe how this lovely soul touched so many people, so I decided to go straight to the best sources, her daughter & granddaughter Lynne & Nicole Van Voorhis. These are their words.
Grace, a dynamic, multi-talented woman, was always the most interesting person in the room. She grew up in a hard-working immigrant family that didn’t necessarily “follow rules,” and wound up in the glamorous world of cosmetics, making a significant mark in the field.
Divorced and a single parent, she did what women do: she got a job. But she managed to build a stellar career - first at Hattie Carnegie, then Revlon, where she applied everything she had experienced before to the world of beauty, i.e. cosmetics. In her amazing career, she found herself at regular meetings with cosmetic company presidents, and was respected by the veterans. As a new friend said, “Grace mattered.”
For almost 98 years, she maintained an amazing interest in life, making friends to the end. She could talk to anyone and everyone she talked to would wind up telling her things about themselves they wouldn’t confide to anyone else. Colorful, glamorous, wise beyond most of us, she also had a mind of her own - and she relied on it.
She was right to - it was a very good mind; we recognized that even when we disagreed with each other. Love for her family was unconditional, but never blind; we all knew it – and respected her for that.
Smart she was, and funny, and she knew how to make and keep friends. Her exciting career took her to international destinations: Japan, China, Italy, France, Mexico, Germany, and England. Her design interests took her to museums for research and led to her being granted several patents.
She found people beautiful – even when what she was seeing was a person’s inner beauty. Young people flocked to her for advice, which she faithfully provided for as long as I knew her, which was all of my life.
Grace would have loved the celebration event. Sharon so exquisitely channeled her and captured her spirit: colorful, eclectic, light, elegant, and of course, with glorious and delicious food that stood out for its beauty as well…. Maybe a part of Grace really was there that day.
Written By: Lynne & Nicole Van Voorhis
Deep Rich Reds, Fuchsia, Turquois, Willow & Purples with flecks of Gold
APPETIZER BUFFET (8) For 50 Guests