GRAND RAPIDS — A husband and wife duo are moving their catering and personal chef business into the building formerly occupied by neighborhood staple Cherry Deli and Catering in Grand Rapids’ East Hills neighborhood.
Jason and Kate McClearen, owners of The Everyday Chef and Wife, purchased the building at 834 Cherry St. SE on July 15 for $640,000 from Cherry Deli owner Scott Schulz, according to property records. The Schulz family made the decision to close the restaurant in September 2021.
“We were fortunate enough to meet the former owner of Cherry Deli,” Jason McClearen said. “He was emotional about passing the torch and was excited that in some ways we have the same mission they had.”
Founded 10 years ago, The Everyday Chef and Wife includes a food truck in addition to personal chef and catering services. The McClearens plan to open in phases in the former Cherry Deli building, starting with renovating the kitchen so they can use it for catering events. They also plan to open a retail storefront that should be fully open in the spring of 2023 with some to-go items available for this year’s holiday season.
“We’re looking to expand with a grab-and-go food location that will have a cafe, treats and stuff like that while also being able to fuel our already established business and grow the businesses we have in catering,” said Kate McClearen.
The location offered an opportunity to renovate an existing kitchen, which is difficult to find in Grand Rapids, as well as a well-trafficked area, Kate McClearen said.
“We want to be visible in the Grand Rapids public eye as much as possible just to be able to build community with our business,” Kate McClearen said. “It’s a great location and we loved Cherry Deli when it was here.”
The Everyday Chef & Wife operated from a few different shared kitchens and a mobile kitchen for the past five years, Jason McClearen said. Moving to a brick-and-mortar kitchen of their own is a needed next step, the couple said.
“Our main goal is to have food that is handmade, local and organic,” he said. “We say that if we can’t make it ourselves from scratch then we’ll partner with other people in town.”
During the pandemic, the couple’s business model shifted to mostly personal chef services and catering for small, curated events, Kate McClearen said. The number of catered, private events have nearly doubled each year for the business, she added.
“We’re now bursting at the seams,” Kate said. “This is a great opportunity to be able to now expand our business and try to do more catering and private events. We’re also excited to get back into being with the general public because that’s what we loved to do with the food truck.”