Lacey’s Catering celebrates its grand opening in Wells
“Such creativity and absolute perfection.”
Those are just a small sample of the reviews that were heard at the grand opening of the new catering business in Wells.
At just 21 years old, Lacey Hassing, daughter of Sherrie and the late Steve Hassing, has purchased a business, and it is already booming.
What was formerly known as Kim’s Cuisine, based out of Minnesota Lake and run by Chef Kim Ernest for 35 years, has transformed into Lacey’s Catering over the past four months.
Hassing grew up cooking. She received her second culinary degree from South Central Technical College in 2014 and says she had been working with Chef Ernest for a number of years prior. She learned presentation techniques and recipes, as well as pricing and other culinary necessities.
“I learned Kim’s recipes over the last three years and have put my own personal twist on them. In the past, Kim and I had talked about me taking over her business,” says Hassing. “And one day, she decided it was time for her to retire after being in the business since 1985.”
When Ernest was prepared to retire from the business, Hassing admits she was aware the switchover would happen, just not as soon as she’d thought.
“I just finished getting my culinary degree when Kim wanted me to take over, and I knew what I was doing, but I will admit, it went very fast and it is crazy to think that I am already at this point,” says the happily stunned Hassing. “I just never thought I would have an entire business, building and all, at 21.”
After searching in and around the Wells area for 18 months, Hassing finally found a building to call her own. And it is a familiar building to the community.
With the help of the Faribault County Development Corporation, Hassing was able to purchase the old Casey’s General Store location in Wells to make a home for her business and its unique creations. The business celebrated its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on July 8 with more than 50 guests in attendance at Hassing’s decadent reception.
Hassing says she knew she always wanted the catering life and now, she has the chance to live it.
“It’s great to be able to run your own schedule. I can decide when I work, which helps me immensely with scheduling events,” says Hassing. She says she is already fairly booked for both the summer and the fall.
As a matter of fact, Hassing shares that since she officially opened back in April, she has had three large events per month. And October? It’s already completely booked.
Hassing has kept up with weddings, graduations, receptions, and parties of all sizes, even when it came to catering an event for 436 people that included six courses, centered around a Brazilian theme for Bishop Garigan School in Algona, Iowa. The school fundraiser raised over $330,000 this past year.
Being busy is only part of the magic of catering, says Hassing. There is another side to the business besides events and planning. It’s the food.
“Being in charge of my own business means I am able to use more of my creativity and my own personal touch not just with the food recipes and presentations, but the food displays, too.”
Hassing learned both from culinary school, but especially from Chef Ernest that presentation can be a means of expressing creativity just as much as the food itself.
“Some artists have canvases, but I?have an empty table, and that is one of the greatest parts of this business I get to paint my canvas with yummy things to eat,” Hassing says.
As people come and go to give quick congratulatory hugs and words of support, it is evident that Lacey’s Catering already has strong footing.
From having no building at all to being booked for months ahead of her, Lacey Hassing is happy to share her culinary gift with Faribault County and beyond.