Any catering company can turn out bacon-wrapped scallops or Caesar salad, but at Coleman Catering of Groton, co-owner and executive chef Josiah Coleman prefers thinking out of the box. Think PLT sandwiches, which substitute peppered prosciutto for the bacon, or a sweet and savory breakfast sandwich featuring pineapple salsa paired with pork sausage. The catering company makes its creative bites, entrees, and desserts for any size and type of social gathering.
"Our menu is bright and eclectic," Coleman said. "It is filled with scratch-made global cuisine and fun twists on classics, such as our kimchi rueben with house-made kimchi and orange-ginger pastrami. We wanted to make it fun, unique and fresh ingredient driven, but still approachable."
Coleman Catering makes full breakfasts, gourmet sandwiches, creamy salads, taco bars, and more. They also have a variety of beverages available for any event including organic fresh brewed tea. Some of the couple's favorite menu items include the lemongrass shrimp, portobello stacker, and nine-layer dessert bar, a concoction made with toasted coconut, dark chocolate, and nuts.
Coleman started his culinary journey several years ago when he worked as kitchen staff at the Grotonwood Camp & Conference Center before being promoted to food service director. He moved to corporate dining while his wife, Linda, worked in the fashion industry. They launched their catering business as a way of not only making delicious food but to foster relationships with clients based on their personal tastes.
"Linda and I started Coleman Catering with the idea that we would cater through relationships and be fresh-ingredient driven," Coleman said. "We want to get to know our new customers and get to know our current customers better. Through this, we can make the meal special and personal for them, not just perfect for the event. We want them to feel that they are more than an invoice number but that we invest in them and continually one-up the previous event."
Although the menu is unique, the Colemans run a flexible business and are willing to honor a customer's request for a dish that isn't currently offered.
"Every event is tailored to the clients needs so there isn't a 'norm,'" Coleman said. "If they request something that isn't on our menu, chances are we can make it and we will. This diversity is one of the perks of what we to do. By being a scratch kitchen, we can better stay away from preservatives and additives and tailor the ingredients to their needs, too [such as] organics, intolerants, and allergies."
In 2015 the couple also opened their restaurant, Salt & Light Bistro, where everything is made from scratch including bakery items, jams, and syrups. The Main Street establishment specializes in rustic New American cuisine and is described as a hybrid bistro, coffee lounge, and boutique as it not only sells meals but clothing and accessories created by the highest-quality fashion designers.
"The boutique only works with designers that source and produce ethically," Coleman said. "It's all about caring about what you do and where it comes from."