CEI Stories

Serving & supporting small business owners just like you.


November 16, 2018

Dandelion Catering Company

Dandelion Catering Company officially launched in 2009 when lifelong Maine residents Christine and Christian Hayes decided to chase a dream that lead them both out of their restaurant and food service careers and into the world of catering. Their vision was to provide fresh, quality prepared food and celebrate the amazing local resources that Maine and New England have to offer. In addition, they wanted to build a team of like-minded individuals who understood that through hard work and high standards come success and fulfillment.

Christian and Christine Hayes, owners of Dandelion Catering Company.

Years later, this simple recipe for success has proven effective. Dandelion Catering Company continues to capture market share with a can-do team spirit, their focus on top shelf service and creative, attractive food offerings. With this surge in growth, the company began running out of space to meet the demands of their orders. Christian and Christine knew it was time to expand their facility and reached out to Maine SBDC center director and CEI business advisor Brad Swanson for assistance in developing a financing proposal.

The Hayes’ wanted to double their production, storage and prep space. Working with the owners over the slightly slower winter months,Swanson helped the pair navigate through spreadsheets of projections and forecasts, working with them to create a full set of realistic financials that demonstrated that the expansion was not only necessary but would support more sales and higher profits.

“He[Swanson] was a sounding board for ideas, and a lifeline of sorts for adding clarity to the uncharted waters of seeking out financing.”

-Christian Hayes, owner

Their bank was impressed with what they presented, and awarded them $200,000 they needed for this first phase of growth. Phase One of their expansion would involve construction of a new catering kitchen to allow for more efficiency and capacity for growth. It also set the groundwork for securing financing for Phase Two of their expansion which is currently in progress. Phase Two will include construction of a new restaurant entity, The Garrison, which will be located adjacent to the catering facility, allowing for public access to our food and services five nights a week.

Future home of The Garrison and Dandelion Catering Company.

After years of work, the humble beginnings, built on the foundation of tireless work ethic and an ironclad commitment to service and quality, have evolved into one of the most talented and respected catering companies in the region.

To follow this growing Maine business, visit their website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

*Story provided by Maine SBDC.

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