As a distinguished caterer in New Jersey, Merri-Makers is honored and humbled to set the stage for lifelong memories that are more cherished with each year. And just like couples celebrate their anniversaries with affection and reflection, we’re proud to acknowledge a milestone of our own. 2023 is our 45th anniversary in business, a symbol of so many things that fill our hearts with joy and gratitude. Here’s what the 45-year mark means to us:
From a small, off-premise catering shop on Monmouth Street in Red Bank to an expansive team running weddings and special events at New Jersey’s most sought-after venues, our 45 years in business have been truly continuous, with many twists and turns along the way. We’ve endured recessions, hurricanes, floods—and perhaps most challenging of all, not just for our company, but for our entire industry—a global pandemic. The Magnolia Inn, Garden State Arts Center (now PNC Bank Arts Center), Water’s Edge Beach Club, and New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center each represent stories of their own as chapters of our journey to the elegant, exclusive venues where we create exceptional weddings today: Bonnet Island Estate, Ashford Estate, and Mallard Island Yacht Club.
Our stability and continuity enable us to not only keep going, but also keep growing. Our entire first-year sales in 1978 were equivalent to the average budget for one of our catered weddings in 2023. In 2021 and 2022, two of our busiest years ever with the return of in-person events, we catered over 300 weddings each year. As our business continues to grow, so does our team—and that’s especially rewarding as we create more jobs for our community and bring more team members into our family (more about both of those aspects shortly). In 2022, we also opened our long-awaited Chefs Market, offering those that like to entertain at home, our delicious menu selections for pickup or delivery.
Service / Hospitality
Hospitality is the “friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers”. Although everyone starts out as a guest, visitor or stranger, when they leave, they’re a part of the Merri-Makers family. Every member of our team does everything asked and more to make every event a success. Even having catered for presidents, governors, professional athletes, and celebrities, our hearts still flutter every time we watch hundreds of guests walk into a room and admire their specially designed and meticulously crafted setup. We rise to each occasion with passion, purpose, and professionalism. It’s how we earn trust, maintain our reputation, and deliver on our promises. More than a requirement or commitment, we see service as a form of self-fulfillment. It makes us happy to make others happy. After all, our name is Merri-Makers.
Merri-Makers was founded on a desire to go beyond the ordinary in the world of culinary. Our catering is chef-inspired, chef-curated, and chef-driven. We draw inspiration from all around: our locale, our travels, our suppliers, and of course, our clients. Every menu is one of a kind, and every dish pairs the finest ingredients with perfect technique and thoughtful presentation. It’s a gift to come to work every day inspired to explore and create. Through our 45 years, we’ve seen weddings and events evolve in countless ways. We keep up with the latest trends—and sometimes come up with a few of our own.
Merri-Makers gives back. We always have and always will. Each year, we donate a percentage of our profits to an organization in our local community that is near and dear to our hearts. Allaire Community Farm, Tunnels to Towers, the Jersey Shore Rescue, Monmouth and Ocean County SPCA and the Liv Like a Unicorn Foundation are just a few of the charities we support. Donations are only one facet of our charitable initiatives. At Allaire Community Farm, we’re currently working on building a kitchen where we intend to provide culinary lessons for students.
Merri-Makers is a family business in every way. That includes treating our entire team like family, from sitting down to eat together before every event to celebrating holidays, welcoming new hires, and looking back with nostalgia and forward with gratitude when we have the opportunity to recognize a milestone like our 45 years in business. Our clients, vendors, suppliers, and partners are all part of our extended family, too. We sincerely thank everyone who continues to make every day Merri. Meet our team and learn more about our story.