The Recipe of Deborah Miller Catering
My story begins almost 20 years ago with earnest roots. At the age of 33, as a single mother of four boys, I opened a small take out shop on Varick Street called Deb’s. My dream was simple; cook and serve the local community of commercial tenants in this obscure neighborhood on the fringes of the village. I took over an old greasy spoon, renovated it on a shoestring budget and crossed my fingers. There was no business plan, no 5 year vision. There was only an immediate need to funnel my creativity and love of food into a business that would provide for my children. I poured my heart and soul into my 500 square foot store. I created, I chopped, I stirred and roasted and did what I loved to do- cook.
Through word of mouth, Deb’s established itself as a local haunt for those seeking fresh, homemade, innovative breakfast and lunches. The rhythm of the café grew into a bustling hub and catering opportunities organically presented themselves. Customer after customer asked me to bring my homemade granola, freshly baked pastries, innovative salads and artisanal sandwiches into their offices for meetings. I responded and hired a delivery person and an additional chef and through a combination of time, lady luck, and trial & error, I found a new passion – catering.
Adding catering to our menu of possibilities, I found a commissary kitchen on South Street to produce the food for my growing business. Once again, on an obscure corner in this complicated city, I found my business growing – this time into a thriving catering company. For 7 years, I operated my commissary kitchen on South Street, directly on the east river, with a dedicated team of passionate chefs, managers and delivery staff. And then one calm October evening, Hurricane Sandy arrived and with it, five feet of water flooded our street level kitchen. In one night, my dream, our kitchen, the livelihood of me and my staff were washed away.
Immediately after the storm I went into survival mode. The choice was simple- sink or swim. I decided to swim; hard, fast and furiously to find a new kitchen. As fate would have it, I was able to secure a temporary kitchen on 200 Varick Street, the very same building where it all began, the home of Deb’s. For two years, the business operated in this temporary space while we hunted for a new location and eventually began construction on a 5,000 square foot commissary kitchen on Madison Street.
In June 2015 our entire staff of 40 moved into our new space as the newly re-branded Deborah Miller Catering & Events. Our state-of-the-art kitchen at 3 Madison provides us with the foundation to continue what we do and expands the capacity of the events we cater. Our chefs have the space to experiment and the creativity is bubbling. We now have a full liquor license and an events division that complement our food with design and décor. Deborah Miller Catering is a 2015 reincarnation of the business I started in 1995. My mission remains the same: It is to captivate, charm, create and take pleasure in serving you.