The Marketing Team after the Bryant Chamber Grand Re-Opening Ribbon Cutting. L to R: Melinda Johnson, Desiree Paulhamus and Catherine Reid.
Hi! My name is Catherine and I am a new member of the marketing team at Dinner’s Ready. I am fresh out of college and ecstatic about starting my career. Although I am nervous about this new chapter, I couldn’t ask for a better staff to help me transition. I grew up in Benton, graduated as a Panther, and watched Serge and Mary start Dinner’s Ready. It is interesting going from a customer to an employee, but getting to experience the behind the scenes has made it totally fun. My first week I got the opportunity to learn a little bit of everything (except cooking, lucky for you), so here is a little inside scoop of what Dinner’s Ready is like from the other side.
My first day in the office I was nervous and scared. Walking in the front door, I thought I was in the wrong place. The newly renovated market caught me off guard and instantly made me hungry. That afternoon I got to work the register and learn about each product we had as Tammy, our market manager, guided me through everything. The “rollups” are what originally caught my eye, because I get wraps everywhere I go, and all the fresh veggies just made it that much more appealing. Looking across our shelves, I discovered a lot of products come from Arkansas vendors, which I thought was great because I love supporting local businesses. I also learned that all of our spices and sauces can be paired with different items we have in the market to create a full meal for any size family. We even have easy to follow recipe cards to help the unsavvy chef, like myself.
On the second day, I got to explore what it was like to represent Dinner’s Ready in the community. I visited all of the local schools in Benton and dropped off fliers for a promotion we were having that week. There was a little adrenaline rush each time I had to tell someone about the promotion and Dinner’s Ready. Also that day, I learned about food photography by taking photos of our Mother’s Day assorted treat box. Who knew staging food could be so difficult? The light has to hit the food right, you have to get the correct angle, and you must pose the food just right to get the perfect shot you need.
The third day was probably my favorite. With the help of Michelle, our catering coordinator, I got to set up my own catering event. The amount of preparation that goes into setting up the catering, checking off the items, and making sure we get everything to the customer on time is overwhelming. Thankfully, Michelle is great at making sure every customer has exactly what they need, if not more, to make sure their Dinner’s Ready experience is amazing. There is so much work, communication, and organization skills that this team uses everyday to get things ready and delivered to make each customer a life-long customer.
On the fourth day, we had our Bryant Chamber grand reopening ribbon cutting event. I got the opportunity to meet a lot of people that were representing businesses in the area. While I enjoyed getting to mingle, I got the chance to taste some of our food after all of our guests were full. Let me tell you, everything I tried was amazing, even if it was something I wasn’t sure if I would like. My favorite item we had out for the Bryant Chamber to try was the creamy ranch crab dip. I have never had crab before and I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I was so surprised when I had it, it’s like a little taste of heaven on top of a Ritz cracker.
To wrap up the week I got the chance to go out on my own and talk to some of our customers. I introduced myself to them as the new member of Dinner’s Ready marketing team. Getting to interact with our customers first hand was rewarding, and letting the customers get to know me a little too so they could put a face with a name. I also got the opportunity to be a part of one our catered weddings this weekend. The wedding was at Maumelle Park on the River. The colors were a blush pink, gold, and ivory with antiques located all around the reception area and as centerpieces. I was on my feet a lot that evening but I got the chance to make sure all of the wedding guests were satisfied with the food.
I am so excited for my future here at Dinner’s Ready and happy to be back home. I’m ready to learn the skills to help Dinner’s Ready succeed, it’s going to be a wild ride, but I could not be more ready to start this new chapter as the Dinner’s Ready Marketing Assistant.
Catherine tasting our Chicken Stew samples and learning about our food and products.