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SPC-BEGIN New Venture Success Story: Collective Catering
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SPC-BEGIN New Venture Success Story: Collective Catering


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  • 1. WE HAVE GOOD NEWS TO SHARE ABOUT ARRIS & COLLECTIVE CATERING! “I would not have had this opportunity anywhere else. The BEGIN New Venture Center is the whole package.” Before starting his corporate catering company, Collective Catering, Arris Harris had no formal catering experience. He just knew how to cook. Arris studied culinary arts and hotel restaurant management at Johnson & Wales University before working as a site manager for ARAMARK, the St. Louis-based food service and facilities management company. One day, Arris’ cousin asked him to cater a luncheon after his caterer cancelled at the last minute. Arris’ food was so well received, he began to cater lunches for other companies while still working. Soon, his budding corporate catering business began to grow by word of mouth. “I decided to quit my job and cater full-time.” Coming up with a name for his catering company was easy. In the beginning, Arris solicited help from loved ones to help get his company off of the ground. “I collected any and everybody to help — my mother, cousins, everybody.” Arris signed a lease with St. Patrick Center’s BEGIN New Venture Center. He is grateful for the resources the small business incubator has provided to him. “One major advantage is getting a further reach into the community by being booked for several media appearances.” Today, business is good. Collective Catering not only caters for major pharmaceutical companies, but also corporate events, wedding receptions, special occasions and dinner parties. Arris employs two full-time and seven part-time employees, many of whom are former St. Patrick Center clients. “We always like to utilize someone from the agency.” To view other success stories and videos, visit The BEGIN New Venture Center is small business incubator and St. Patrick Center program. St. Patrick Center is Missouri’s largest provider of housing, employment and health opportunities for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 800 N. Tucker Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63101 ♣ 314-802-0700 ♣