by James Rada, Jr.
When you’re planning a big event, say a wedding or corporate meeting, there are plenty of things on your to-do list. But one chore that you don’t have to face is preparing a meal for dozens, or hundreds, of attendees, thanks to the many caterers who serve the Hanover area. They can help out with your party, corporate meeting, holiday event, wedding or any other gathering. And they have an excellent reputation for providing delicious food and friendly service.
Whether you want picnic-style lunches or formal dinners, Hanover’s caterers can meet your needs, and fit your budget. They can also fit your style. For instance, you can order a pig roast from Sensenig’s Meats and Catering.
“We can do a wide variety of things,” said Sensenig’s owner Wesley Sensenig. “All our stuff is made pretty much from scratch.”
Sensenig’s caters breakfast, lunch, and dinner events. Items include made-to-order omelets, crab cakes, and a taco bar. You can create a themed meal (i.e., Mexican or seafood) or offer a variety of items.
A tradition of home cooking and personal attention is a selling point for many of the caterers.
Leanne Excela, manager of Warehouse Gourmet Bistro and Brewpub, said that her business goes the extra mile, even for something as simple as a fruit tray.
Warehouse Gourmet owner Melinda Stambaugh “goes out and personally picks out the fruit items for the trays,” Excela said. “We don’t just order fruit in bulk.” And their soups and salad dressings are made from scratch.
Warehouse Gourmet also offers fancier items, such as sesame-crusted tuna steak sashimi and pesto cream cheese terrine.
Sergio Balsamo, manager of Genova’s to Go, said his business is known for its breads.
“We make all our own varieties of bread, including our sub rolls,” he said. “They are made fresh each morning.
Genova’s also offers items like cheesesteak subs, baked ziti, and zesty wings.
Location, Location, Location
Part of the attraction of catering is that the food comes to you, but some caterers have their own venues where they can host events.
Everett Grove, owner of Little Everett’s BBQ in Hanover, started his catering business out of his home. Now he has a restaurant with a commercial kitchen and a mobile smoker, so he can travel to off-site locations and still serve fresh-made BBQ. He caters events as far away as Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. While BBQ is a favorite item on both his catering menu and restaurant menu, he also offers chicken, turkey, and roast beef.
Sensenig’s has five locations that offer dine-in and carry-out offerings.
“We only do off-site catering,” Excela said. “We have a number of venues that we work with, but if someone comes in with a venue already picked, we can work there, too.”
As anyone who has prepared a holiday meal for a large family can tell you, it takes lots of planning and preparation to get everything on the table at the same time. The staff at Sensenig’s knows it, too: During Thanksgiving week, they were busy getting ready to cater an event for 2,000 people.
They spent the entire week prepping foods, “but we can’t cook things too soon,” Sensenig said.
Although caterers have events to service year-round, the chilly first quarter of the new year is usually their slowest time. During the spring, summer, and fall, outdoor events need catering, and in the last quarter of the year, holiday events keep everyone busy.
During these busy times, caterers need extra staff. Some caterers turn to temporary, part-time employees.
“When we get busy, I can pull restaurant staff, and my family also helps out,” said Grove.
While the catering business is usually geared toward large groups, many caterers also offer options for small groups and individuals.
Little Everett’s restaurant provides dine-in options. Sensenig’s has an online store where you can order their meats and packages. Keith and Melinda Stambaugh opened Warehouse Gourmet as a catering company in 2005, but they also offer carryout and delivery. As their business and reputation grew, the Stambaughs opened the bistro in 2010, followed by the brewpub a couple of years later. In fact, Excela said, when there’s a favorite item on the catering menu, the bistro will also offer it.
Hungry yet? Here’s where you can find a selection of Hanover caterers.
The Back Room
130 W. King St., East Berlin • 717-624-0035 • www.backroombanquets.com
Genova’s to Go
1446 Baltimore St., Hanover • 717-634-5383 • www.genovastogo.com
Little Everett’s BBQ
711 Elm Ave., Hanover • 717-632-3001 • www.lilevsbbq.com
Neiderer’s Pool & Banquet Hall
175 N. 2nd St., McSherrystown • 717-637-1614 • www.neiderers.com
Sensenig’s Meats & Catering
6999 Cannery Road, Hanover • 717-632-4964 • www.turkeyleg.com
918 Carlisle St., Hanover • 717-632-9190 • www.shultzsdeli.com
The Stock Pot
1 E. Walnut St., Hanover • 717-309-3167 • www.ourfamilystockpot.com
Warehouse Gourmet Bistro & Brewpub
7 Pennsylvania Ave., Hanover • 717-451-9898 • www.warehousegourmet.net