Sarty moves into shiny new commercial kitchen
A local caterer who has been seen busily working at a number of functions around Quincy lately is enjoying a new commercial kitchen.
Liane Sarty, with the business name of This & That, has taken a big step in her catering and is seeing success with her hard work and creativity. She moved into a new kitchen on Nov. 20 and appreciates the space and efficiency of the equipment she has to work with now. And she does work – quickly.
Sarty said her catering work took off a couple of years ago, and when it did, she just had to go with it.
The kitchen is brand-new, inside a new building that is also being used by the winery next door, Megan Couture’s Errant Cellars. Sarty’s kitchen is in the east end of the new 2,300-square-foot building at 17 B St. SE.
She and Couture are friends and are already working on joint events. Sarty can do parties in Couture’s space, and for an event of her own Couture may hire Sarty for the food.
Sarty is a Quincy person and was raised here. She moved away in 1981 and has been back for 14 years, she said. She had some retail experience and had a small business inside Barb’s Place, but before her catering took off like a rocket, she said she had not thought of running a full-time business.
“It would have scared me to death,” she said.
She had a reputation as a good cook and excelled at baking – skills she acquired largely on her own, but she also credits her mother. Her mother had a kitchen gourmet store in Wenatchee called The Final Touch for many years.
“She was a phenomenal cook, and she passed it on,” Sarty said.
She still uses some of her mother’s pans.
Her new work space is a commercial kitchen, but it is not for rent to others. From the looks of it, Sarty is using all of it already anyway.
She has multiple sinks that are mandatory in a commercial kitchen. She has a 10-rack gas oven that can bake almost 1,200 cookies at a time; a six-burner stove top, and below that three racks in a standard oven; two mixers, a 10-quart and a really big 25-quart mixer.
“I can quadruple a batch of anything I want to in that one, which is pretty cool,” she said.
A commercial-grade refrigerator and freezer take up one wall.
“They are massive,” she said. “That’s a huge bonus.”
She needs the space. She has booked weddings till September with as many as 180 people. She has done winemaker dinners at wineries, and she will also be able to do small, private functions inside the new kitchen – one end of the space already is decorated and set up with a table for guests.
She can do a buffet-style event for up to 50 people by herself. If it’s over 60 people, she definitely hires help, she said.
“I have been lucky with the support that I have gotten from the community,” she said.
There is a need for all the different caterers in the area, she said, “I just happened to find a niche.”
She also has booked events beyond Quincy Valley and offers bartending.
Asked what makes her catering different, Sarty said she can serve a four-course meal for up to 60 people with all glassware, real silverware, real linen and cloth tablecloths, and she usually stays during the event and takes care of the food.
She likes to invent recipes and takes some pleasure in seeing them turn out well. Ideas will come to her as she works, she said.
The success she has these days with culinary creations is not something she had from the start. She recalls with a laugh that in her teens she would bake cookies and not even her dog would eat them.
“So it is funny that here I am cooking for a living, when I couldn’t even get a person to eat a chocolate chip cookie that I made” other than her brother-in-law, who would eat any cookies, no matter how they turned out, she said.
“To be at the point I am now that it will come to me … I guess that is what I am constantly thinking about is how to make it different,” she said.
By Dave Burgess, email@example.com