Keeping Hope Alive

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 | 11:45 pm

In this essay, Jennifer Hulett explains how hope plays as big a role as delicious food at Pasadena’s Hope Café & Catering.

Think about the word “Hope” for just a moment. What does it mean to you? Is it a term you use loosely, or is it a distinctive idea that you believe in? Hope Café & Catering believes grandly in the idea of Hope, so much that we built our catering business on the name.

For example, Hope Café and Catering believes in employing those who deserve a second chance. But what does that mean? Were you homeless and trying to get back on your feet? Are you a single mother with poor credit? Do you have a past that would be frowned upon by a background check? I fell into one of these categories, and I needed a second chance. However, the “second chance” doesn’t stop at the permanent employment level. We help our employees grow.

After working at Hope Café & Catering for almost 18 months, taking on the role of Chef Tony’s Assistant and Office Manager, a new job opportunity fell into my lap. I prayed about it and finally told Chef that I would be leaving my primary role within the company. While he was sad to see me go, he was also happy for me! At Hope Café, we encourage growth; whether that means an employee stays with us for seven days, seven months or seven years. It’s one of the ways that we keep Hope alive in our business and it organically spills over into our community.

And while our community continues to grow and we strive to stay true to our roots by helping those in need, we were unexpectedly on the receiving end when catering the Door of Hope’s Transitional Living family reunion at Victory Park in Pasadena a few weeks ago. I know you’ve heard about the “Helpful Honda Guys,” (you know, the ones in the blue shirts?) Well, they showed up to help us feed the families that have graduated from Door of Hope’s Transitional Living Program! It was pretty exciting to get help from another company that walk’s the walk!

So, what does this have to do with food? Everything. Chef Tony puts his heart into the dishes he creates. He won’t put his name on anything that is less than spectacular for your event, whether it’s for 10 or 10,000 people. Do you know of any other caterer that actually makes their bread from scratch? No shipped-frozen dough in our kitchen! Our salad dressing’s are our own recipe and produce is hand-picked by our buyers and delivered fresh daily from the L.A. Produce market. Nothing goes to waste in our kitchen, our leftover food goes right across the street to Foothill Unity Center’s Food Bank.

If you are looking for a caterer that not only makes amazing dishes and takes action to feed the community- look no further: Hope Café and Catering.

For more about Hope Café and Catering, call or visit

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