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Georgia Roussos Catering
New Legacy Capitalizes on a Family Name
The Roussos family has been a Mobile dining institution since 1974, when it opened its first restaurant on the Causeway. After its destruction during Hurricane Frederic, new locations at Fort Conde and in Baldwin County and; finally, the rigors of an economic recession, Georgia Roussos’ mother Zenia convinced her to take the family business in another direction – catering.
“We had always catered during our restaurant years, but having just a catering business allows us to be more creative,” Roussos said. “Each event is a new opportunity to showcase our culinary skills.”
In the years since, Georgia Roussos Catering has won awards such as Best Independent Restaurant at the 2011 Taste of Mobile and Best Gumbo at the 2013 Taste of Mobile, and it’s built a customer base that includes some of the Mobile area’s top corporate clients. The business is honored here as the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Month.
“We have a steady year-round business, especially with our corporate clients,” Roussos said. “Certainly we see an increase during Christmas, and for the GoDaddy (Bowl) and Senior Bowl, First Light Marathon and definitely for Mardi Gras. For these events her staff of 12 grows with added part-time employees.
“Preparing for a Mardi Gras ball is almost like a military operation with the planning and logistics involved,” she added. “But that’s our role, to do the work behind the scenes so that our clients and their guests have a wonderful experience.”
Long known for specializing in fresh Gulf seafood, Georgia Roussos Catering is gaining more recognition for the range of menu options it offers and events it can service, from boxed lunches to black-tie events. But its specialty remains seafood cooked on-site. “It makes such an important difference to bread and fry the seafood on-site,” she said. “That means setting up a portable kitchen with prep tables and large fryers. It’s a lot of work, but the quality of the food is worth the effort.”
The business takes an active part in community and charitable events like the Taste of Mobile, which this year will benefit the culinary program at Murphy High School; Celebrate Hope at the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Center; the American Cancer Society’s Kick-Off Walk for Making Strides; and the Junior League Christmas Jubilee Preview Party.
Maintaining consistent quality and service while dealing with rising food costs is a challenge, but Roussos is bullish on the future. “We’re proud to see expansion and growth for some of our corporate clients like Austal, Evonik, Continental and Airbus. As they grow, we grow,” she said.
Click here to read The Business View – April 2015