SPC-BEGIN New Venture Success Story: Collective Catering
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,
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 www.stpatrickcenter.org.
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 ♣ www.stpatrickcenter.org