Jill Santa Lucia


photo of Jill Santa Lucia, President/CEO

Jill started Catering Works in 1989 and is the CEO and owner of Catering Works, Inc. She graduated from Johnson & Wales University in 1987 with her Culinary Arts degree and pursued further studies at The Culinary Institute of America in Food Styling and Healthy Cooking. Jill's recipes have won local and national awards. In January 2002, Jill was awarded $10,000 for the grand prize in the Bacardi Recipe Challenge, for her Tropico Napoleon.

She also she took first place in the Kikkoman-USA contest in December 2002, for her delicious Pork Chop with Cranberry Apple Compote recipe. Jill was also a finalist in Rich's Food. Winning is sweet competition for a decadent White Chocolate Banana Creme Tart. Jill has also appeared on the Food Networks' "Food Fight" as a locally recognized chef and judge.

2012, In the US Foods Next Top Product competition, Jill was one of 3 finalists nationwide, for her signature recipe "Mini Baklava Cheesecake".

Jill joined Chef Richard Carter in Cooking for a Classic Chef Competition Series, in April 2017, taking the win against 7 other local chefs.

Inspired by nostalgic flavors, Jill sought to create an iconic snack that became one of the best-selling recipes at Catering Works, artisan small batch popcorn. In 2020, when Jill and her sister were looking for ways to navigate through the pandemic, they decided to package popcorn and develop an e-commerce business. Ella’s Popcorn was born. Jill took the corn to new heights because of her appearance on HSN and the team’s tenacity and commitment to success.

Jill and her team were awarded the food service contract at the North Carolina Museum of Art in 2021. Collaborating on Special Events and Operating the NCMA Café.

Jill has a passion for helping the local community through donations of food and service, including Interfaith Food Shuttle and many other charitable organizations.

Jill's passion for cooking started in her grandmother's kitchen. Grandma made everything from scratch, and Jill was fascinated with her Leg of Lamb and her homemade chocolate iced cookies.

She and her sister, Lorin Laxton, grew up in Fairport, New York, in a close family that remains so today. Jill's commitment to quality has rendered Catering Works as one of the top special event businesses in North Carolina. Jill has been recognized as one of the top woman business owners to KNOW 2023 in America and has been seen as an expert in the community in cooking, catering, and events. In her spare time, which there is very little of, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and her adorable dogs.

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Lorin Laxton

Vice President/Marketing Director

photo of Lorin Laxton, Vice President/Marketing Director

Lorin Laxton was born and raised in upstate New York. She attended Kent State University in Ohio and pursued studies in Journalism and Communications, and completed studies abroad in conjunction with her military service in the United States Navy. Lorin served in the USN for 7 years in the Cryptologic Maintenance rating, and received the Navy Achievement Medal for accomplishments in hardware and software technology. Lorin joined her sister Jill in Raleigh in 1992 and became co-owner of Catering Works in 1995. During her career at Catering Works Lorin developed CaterWorks© , a catering software program that plays a vital role in keeping everything systematic and organized. Lorin has performed a variety of functions at the company, from Accounting to General Management, Business Development to Wedding Sales, IT and everything in between. Currently she is the firm's Business Development Director. Lorin has appeared twice on HSN promoting Ella's Popcorn. Lorin successfully completed the Master of Sommeliers Level One Course, and enjoys learning about and sharing wines of the world, as well as creating inspiring cocktail recipes for Catering Works. Lorin is committed to environmentally responsible practices and via a partnership with a local composting company has been responsible for diverting over 35,000 pounds from landfills. Lorin is the proud mother of Meredith Laxton, a graduate student at the Savannah College of Art & Design, who is pursuing her MFA in the field of Sequential Art. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, travel, photography, skiing and her dog Bodie.

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Rich Carter

Executive Chef

photo of Rich Carter, Executive Chef

Rich was born in Binghamton, New York.  He began his culinary career working at several popular Italian restaurants in Binghamton and Upstate New York.  He was the Kitchen Manager for Rizzo’s Restaurant and was later promoted to Executive Chef. Rich supervised all food operations at Banchetti Catering, Café Banchetti and two Rizzo’s Restaurant before moving to Raleigh, NC.

Since joining the Catering Works team he has been able to expand his knowledge and express himself creatively. He was selected as a finalist in Maple Leaf Farms Duck Recipe contest in the professional chefs division and has competed in several cooking competitions including Fire in the Triangle and The Lucy Daniels Cooking for a Classic.  The Cooking for a Classic competition featured 16 local chefs putting their creative skills to the test and Rich had the honor of winning 1st place along with a restored 1969 Stingray Corvette.  He has also been featured on the cover of Taste Magazine and an episode of Three Hungry Guys.  Rich participated with the James Beard foundation with the Building A Better Burger Project that focused on working to develop a sustainable burger.  His passion and talent in the kitchen are the driving force behind many of the culinary endeavors at Catering Work.  He played a large role in creating a dining series called Culinary Adventures where the focus is contemporary high-end cuisine and wine from all parts of the world. 

He focuses on quality local ingredients and has worked to develop   relationships with local vendors like Burch Farms, Carolina Mushroom, Big Oak Bee, La Farm Bakery, Norm’s Farm, Big Boss Brewery, Goat Lady Dairy, Topo and many other local companies.  Rich has made strides to reduce the carbon footprint that Catering Works makes by initiating a composting and recycling program that helped to create two small gardens at Catering Works that house herbs and vegetables that are incorporated into dishes when possible.  Rich also facilitated Catering Works participation in the Got To Be NC agriculture foundation.  

Rich has taken time to hone his skills even more by replicating recipes from the talented Charley Trotters’ cookbook while developing a blog to illustrate the process.  He enjoys creating new recipes and surprising us with unique ingredient combinations.  While he isn’t in the kitchen he is enjoying music and the great outdoors with his family and friends and two boys, Peyton and Hudson.

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Anthony Calcagno

Executive Pastry Chef

photo of Anthony Calcagno, Executive Pastry Chef

Anthony was born in Brooklyn and raised in Long Island, NY and began his Pastry career at a Brooklyn bakery specializing in Italian pastries.  His baking talent didn’t go unnoticed and he was then offered a Pastry Cook position at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.  He worked for its 3 restaurants under the tutelage of various international chefs with whom he credits his love of Parisian, Austrian and Italian desserts.  He honed his skills at both The Harvard Club and Palio Restaurant in NYC where he served as Assistant Pastry Chef before moving to New Jersey. The Hilton Hotel at Short Hills was his next move where he was instrumental in helping achieve the hotel’s AAA Five Diamond and Five Star rating as the Executive Pastry Chef.  It was here that Anthony was able to expand his knowledge of pulled sugar, chocolate sculpting and plated dessert presentation by attending the International School of Confectionery Arts with Ewald Notter.  Anthony and 4 other chefs were invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.


Being an avid golfer Anthony became the Executive Pastry Chef at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.  This exclusive corporate country club housed 54 holes of championship golf.  In 2001 he was offered the position of Executive Pastry Chef at the renowned Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC, but, newly married he chose to relocate to North Carolina to work at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary.  Here he created elegant wedding cakes, plated desserts and confections for its private members. Anthony has earned many pastry awards for originality and best in show. 

His pastry creations have been seen in Culinary Trends Magazine, Cary Magazine, and The New York Times.  Anthony, his wife Jennifer, son Ben, daughter Sarah and rescued Golden Retriever, Tyler reside in Apex where Anthony enjoys gardening, golfing, family time and baseball.

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Brianna Brandsen

Pastry Sous Chef

photo of Brianna Brandsen, Pastry Sous Chef

Bri grew up in rural Calvert County, Maryland. Baking cakes and cookies almost every weekend with her mother and breads for holidays with her father are what encouraged her to chase her dreams of becoming a pastry chef. She learned as much about the science of baking as she could throughout high school before enrolling in Johnson & Wales University’s Baking and Pastry program.


During her sophomore year, Bri was accepted into Walt Disney World’s culinary internship program where she worked for 6 month at The Contemporary Resort gaining experience with high volume baking and large scale events. Just before she graduated with her BA in Baking & Pastry, Bri had an opportunity to study abroad in Peru and learn about Peruvian life, culture, and of course food!


After graduation, Bri worked her way through Washington, DC; first working for a pop up cafe as the head baker, then venturing into restaurant life at Le Diplomate as a pastry cook. During her time in DC, Bri had the pleasure of producing high end desserts for many political leaders and even the occasional celebrity! In 2016, Bri traded the busy DC life for the calm of Raleigh, NC and joined the pastry team at Catering Works. She enjoys having creative freedom when it comes to creating new menus and testing unique and exciting dessert recipes. When she’s not in the kitchen, Bri loves traveling, hiking/camping, and trying new local restaurants.

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Tristan Baker

Sous Chef

photo of Tristan Baker, Sous Chef

Admin Team

Andrew Kelly


photo of Andrew Kelly, CFO

I was born on 12/24/1985 in Southern Pines, NC.  I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and Minor in Business Administration from NC State in 2008.

Through the years I have worked in many positions with Catering Works, moving up along the way. I started as a part time delivery driver while in college, then was promoted to full time Warehouse Manager. Since that time, I have been the Delivery Manager, Events Production Manager, Operations Manager, Purchasing Officer & Facility Manager, and Accounting Manager. In 2023, I was promoted to CFO. I am responsible for overseeing the admin team, Payroll, HR, Accounting and the overall financial success of Catering Works, which includes our other brands Bloom Works, NCMA, & Ella’s Popcorn.

During my free time I enjoy playing golf, traveling, watching baseball, and taking my dog, Chipper, for walks.

My favorite recipe is Gold Rush Popcorn.

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Rick Rhodes

NCMA Finance Controller

photo of Rick Rhodes, NCMA Finance Controller

When and Where were you born?July 1969 in Goldsboro NC

What is your favorite CW recipe? Chocolate Crackle Cookie

What is your past work experience? Food and Beverage Concessions for the UNC Tarheels, NCSU Basketball, and the Carolina Hurricanes

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works? My co-workers

What are your hobbies outside work? Fishing, Birdwatching, Cooking, Watching Hockey

What is the most memorable event you've planned? The 2006 Stanley Cup Run at PNC Arena

Michelle Alexander


photo of Michelle Alexander, HR

Brooke Kelly

Accounting & Admin Support

photo of Brooke Kelly, Accounting & Admin Support

Leah Murphy

Executive Personal Assistant

photo of Leah Murphy, Executive Personal Assistant

Sales & Marketing

Kelli Harrison

Director of Sales

photo of Kelli Harrison, Director of Sales


Ask me about 105 pound dog or my twin sister

When and Where were you born? November 20th in Reading, PA

What is your favorite CW recipe? - BBQ Short Rib Bao Bun

Where did you grow up? I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and moved to Philadelphia for college and eventually where I met my husband VJ and we moved to New Jersey for 2 years before moving to Apex in 2006.

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works? I enjoy working with the different groups of people and creating diverse types of events from weddings, Bat/Bar Mitzvahs, Holiday party, Corporate or University events.

What are your hobbies outside work? I have three girls that we love to travel with as well as visiting the local festivals and concerts in the area. The girls keep us active with their soccer games, gymnastics, volleyball and their social calendars. I enjoy some me-time at Burn Bootcamp, getting a manicure and pedicure or drinks with friends. My husband and I enjoy all of Raleigh and Durham’s restaurants.

What is the most memorable event you ever planned? A past event was a 1000 person party at the Arboretum under a beautiful sail cloth tent on a gorgeous September Night. Most recently, was a 350 person event for the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Grand reopening of the West Building with an outdoor cocktail hour, indoor seated dinner on beautiful mirrored tables with accent lighting and after party on the plaza with a band.

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Pam Walklet

Catering & Event Consultant

photo of Pam Walklet, Catering & Event Consultant

Ask me about my daughter’s vehicle

When and Where were you born?  I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii sometime around the time it became a US State.  That’s all I’m sayin’…

What is your favorite CW recipe?  Love, Love, love the salted caramel shortbread bars!

Did you ever live anywhere else in the states, and what is your past work experience?  I was primarily raised in the SF Bay Area.  My dad was a ‘traveling salesman’ so we moved around quite a bit growing up.  After Hawaii, we lived in Washington state to Calgary Canada (dad was native Canadian), Oshawa Ontario, and finally to California.  I have always loved to bake and started dabbling in desserts at fairly young age.  Kept that energy and passion for food going through my educational years and worked in various food establishments, including Bridges (fun fact:  as seen in Mrs. Doubtfire).  And here I am in Raleigh – as they say, “the rest is history”

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works?  I love the people I work with and the family atmosphere created here.  My clients are ever-changing and they keep the daily dynamics crazy and fun.

What are your hobbies outside work?  I still love to bake!  Very passionate about my walks – with and without borrowed pups in tow.  I have a new affinity for sipping Bourbon and an addition to the bucket list – a visit to the Kentucky Bourbon trail!

What is the most memorable event you ever planned?  I have a wonderful client who plans a large client appreciation ‘picnic’ in his garden-perfect backyard every Spring.  Without fail it storms and rains buckets during set up and then clears to beautiful skies for his guests to enjoy his hospitality

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Nicole Flynn

Marketing Director

photo of Nicole Flynn, Marketing Director

Ask me about my favorite place to travel!

When and Where were you born? Silver Spring, Maryland on September 20th. 

What is your favorite CW recipe? A tie between the beef filet with gorgonzola cream & roasted vegetable flatbreads.

What is your past work experience? Before working with Catering Works, I worked with State Farm Insurance as a property, casualty, life & health insurance agent. I decided one day that the industry wasn’t for me. Most people don’t enjoy paying for their insurance, so I wanted to work in a field where my clients are happy and excited about what they’re planning! Enter – Catering Works! I started on the events team as an Event Manager to get to know the in’s and out’s of how an event runs and transitioned into the sales and planning side where I’ve been working for around 7 years!

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works? My clients! I love getting to work with such a diverse group of people with corporate events, weddings and families planning special days to celebrate. I love following couples through their lives on social media from the wedding, to getting a dog, buying a home, starting a family, etc.

What are your hobbies outside work? Traveling is my favorite hobby of all! I love getting to immerse myself in new cultures, sightsee, and enjoy different kinds of food. When my boyfriend Adam and I aren't traveling somewhere new, you can usually find us soaking up the sun on the boat on Falls Lake or Lake Gaston. I also love to spend time with my family and two sweet little nephews Christopher & Easton, and snuggling with our sweet cat, Basil!

What is the most memorable event you ever planned? Campaign Launch Gala – whew what a whirlwind! So much food, fun, design, laughter, and tears. I even have a book of the event in my office to remind myself of how kickass my team is! We truly can’t succeed at events alone. It’s such a team effort and I am truly lucky of the team working next to me. 

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Kayla Miles

Catering & Event Consultant

photo of Kayla Miles, Catering & Event Consultant


Ask me about my: adorable Corgi (IG: @pennypotatopup)

When and Where were you born? August 25th in Montgomery, Alabama

What is your favorite CW recipe? Scallop and Mango Ceviche

What is your past work experience? I started in the hospitality industry early - my very first job was working at a wedding venue on weekends when I was only 15. I have worked at the University of Alabama football stadium in the club/box areas, have been in foodservice for a total of 10 years and have been in catering sales for 8 years.

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works? Every day is different- love that! And meeting and working with the sweetest clients and vendors! 

What are your hobbies outside work? Spending time with my husband Jake and my dog Penny, brunching with girlfriends and going to as many concerts/live music shows as possible.

What is the most memorable event you've planned? A 1000+ person plated dinner for city officials from all over the state on the court and club area of the University of Alabama basketball stadium. I was in charge of securing, coordinating, distributing and tracking the rentals of plates, glassware, flatware, linens, tables, and chairs. We sourced from 4 different rental companies across the state so I also had to make sure it all got back to the right places! 

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Hollie Hawkins

Catering & Event Consultant

photo of Hollie Hawkins, Catering & Event Consultant


Ask me about: The most animals I have had at one time

When and Where were you born?  August 27th in Mechanicsburg, PA

What is your favorite CW recipe?  Pumpkin Crostini with Fried Sage

Did you ever live anywhere else in the states, and what is your past work experience?  I have worked since I was 16 years old and have had the great experience of working most of my jobs servicing others.  I have been a housekeeper, CNA, receptionist, social worker for hospice and a director for catering the home of one of the NHL hockey teams.

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works? Working with different clients from couples planning their wedding to corporate clients planning their holiday party or ribbon cutting for their grand opening.

What are your hobbies outside work?  I love to cook/bake and read books when I am not working or driving my 2 kids to their activities.

What is the most memorable event you ever planned?  A 60th Wedding Anniversary for a couple provided by their grown children.  The children displayed all of what the couple created, lost, and provided to their families over the years through pictures, videos, stories, and food.  It was a lovely tribute to their parents, and it showed just how much the couple loved each other even through best and worst times.

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Nicole Weil

Catering & Event Consultant

photo of Nicole Weil, Catering & Event Consultant


Ask me about my: Time living in the Grand Teton National Park

When and Where were you born? April 30th in Indianapolis, Indiana

What is your favorite CW recipe? Mini Stuffed New Potatoes

What is your past work experience? I started out as a cook at 19 and travelled around a bit doing that. Settled down in Asheville, NC where I began managing restaurants. I've also worked as a Dietary Director for an assisted living facility and managed the cafeteria at Asheville's Mission Hospital. This is my first time working in catering but I'm loving it. 

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works?  Getting to work with so many different people and bring some joy to their day with food. Everyone loves food!

What are your hobbies outside work? My husband and I moved to Raleigh last July so we spend a lot of time outside exploring the area. I love to play disc golf, have fires in our backyard, and go to local breweries. If I'm not outside or shopping, I'm likely on the couch with my two cats snuggled up in blanket. 

Rebekah Guy

Graphics & Design

photo of Rebekah Guy, Graphics & Design


Zach Brandsen

Production Manager

photo of Zach Brandsen, Production Manager


Christina Guy

Operations Manager

photo of Christina Guy, Operations Manager

Delphine Kinuthia

Delivery Operations Manager

photo of Delphine Kinuthia, Delivery Operations Manager



Hannah Broski

NCMA General Manager

photo of Hannah Broski, NCMA General Manager

Rick Sloan

NCMA Executive Chef

photo of Rick Sloan, NCMA Executive Chef

When and Where were you born? Wilmington, NC.  I am a child of the early 80's!

What is your favorite CW recipe? Chef Rick's Shrimp and Grits

What is your past work experience? I have worked 22 years in the industry in everything from Sports Bars to Fine Dining.  I have lived in North Carolina for most of that time with time also spent in Orlando, FL, while I was in the Disney College Program, and Charleston, South Carolina.  

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works?  I get to build menus that incorporate my love for food and history with the art all around me at the North Carolina Museum of Art.  That moment when the food hits the table and the guest sees and tastes a new combination.  

What are your hobbies outside work? I love to fish, hike, and travel!  My family loves going to the Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Games! 

What is the most memorable event you've planned? We are on our fourth menu at the NCMA Cafe already, and each of them drew from the produce and other ingredients around us each season.  The Fall menu we started in September is my favorite so far!  I can't wait to start working on the next season's menu! 

Amanda Rodriguez

NCMA Operations Director

photo of Amanda Rodriguez, NCMA Operations Director

When and Where were you born? I was born June 7th, 1998, in Miami, Florida.

What is your favorite CW recipe? My absolute favorite recipe is the Mini Chicken and Waffle bites, pure perfection!

What is your past work experience? Before starting Catering Works, I worked as a Butcher for 5 years.

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works? I think my favorite part about my job is being able to make people smile with my smile, whether that be customers or my employees and coworkers, my smile is contagious. 

What are your hobbies outside work? When I am not at work I like to find little projects for myself to do, most of the time it involves cooking, but sometimes it's painting or drawing.

Julie Lee

NCMA Venue Consultant

photo of Julie Lee, NCMA Venue Consultant

Ask me about: My favorite piece in the museum.

When and Where were you born? It was a Sunday on 4/20 in St. Louis MO. You’ll have to guess the year, careful.

What is your favorite CW recipe? Moroccan Chicken Bastilla

Where did you grow up? Cary and Raleigh NC

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works? Getting to know our clients while touring them through our exclusive event venue - The North Carolina Museum of Art! What a privilege it is to explore these incredible art collections and beautiful event spaces, all while discussing Catering Works world class culinary offerings and services – Best. Job. Ever.

What are your hobbies outside work?  Planning adventures and spending time with family including kitty Boo Boo and my scruffy pup Spike. Doing pretty much anything with the people I love that is food and drink related and includes live music and laughter is my favorite.

What is the most memorable event you ever planned? A week-long Mediterranean cruise where we chartered half the ship for our clients, hosted multiple VIP and themed events, fully branded the trip, curated, and coordinated daily gifts for every guest, managed excursions, and so much more. One for the books!

Megan Cates

NCMA Catering & Event Assistant

photo of Megan Cates, NCMA Catering & Event Assistant


Ask me about my: 2 furbabies and millions of plants 

When and Where were you born? Wilson , North Carolina born and raised!

What is your favorite CW recipe? 

What is your past work experience? I have been in the service industry since I was 15 years old and have worked anywhere from the farmers market to high quality restaurants. No matter where I was, I was sure about one thing - I love creating happy memories for people! 

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works?  Being able to give my clients a memorable event. With the help from Catering Works and the NCMA, it's impossible to have an experience that's easy to forget. 

What are your hobbies outside work? you can most likely find me poking around in my flower beds or doing some sort of arts and crafts. I also enjoy spending time with my best friends/roommates watching horror movies in our projector room surrounded by our sleeping cats 

What is the most memorable event you've planned? All of the events are memorable! From working with the artists performing in the NCMA Outdoor Concert to helping a couple start their life together, each one touches a special part of your heart in different ways. 

Megan Cates personal photo

Ella's Popcorn

Donna Levy

Ella's Poperations Manager

photo of Donna Levy, Ella's Poperations Manager


Ask me about my Jeopardy auditions or tripod pup, Penelope. 

When and Where were you born? San Pedro, CA 07/18/73

What is your favorite Ella's recipe? Campfire

What is your favorite part of your job at Catering Works? I love working the pop up markets the best!  It’s so much fun interacting with the crowd and sharing Ella’s with them.

What are your hobbies outside work? Baking/Cooking, Reading about Baking/Cooking, Collecting Vintage Cookbooks, Trivia and Word Games

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Savannah Patinka

Ella's Marketing Pop Star

photo of Savannah Patinka, Ella's Marketing Pop Star


Ask me about...

My obsession with fashion

When and Where were you born?

Born in Binghamton, NY. Raised in Charlotte, NC.

What is your favorite Ella's Flavor?

Depends on the time of year… My favorite tends to change. My top 3 favorites are The Gold Rush, Campfire, and Parma Amore.  

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love connecting with Ella’s clients! It’s incredibly rewarding to build relationships within the community and watch our start-up business grow. Watching our delicious creations come to life and to sharing them with the world is priceless.

What are your hobbies outside work?

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with friends and family, exploring new hiking trails, dancing, and traveling.

Joy Rivers

Ella's Pop-Zilla

photo of Joy Rivers, Ella's Pop-Zilla

Dyllon Thornton

Prince of Popcorn

photo of Dyllon Thornton, Prince of Popcorn

Tyra Thornton


photo of Tyra Thornton, Poppertunist

Bloom Works

EW Fulcher

Floral Director & Designer

photo of EW Fulcher, Floral Director & Designer

Born: Outerbanks, NC Favorite Recipe: Vietnamese Spring Roll with Spicy Peanut Sauce Time In: 1994 EW is a Carolina native and spent his educational years taking several classes in art and design. He is a self taught designer and continuously researches and educates himself on the latest trends and styles.  At Catering Works EW has participated in the NACE Top of the Table design competition winning “Best in Category” 3 years in a row

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Michelle Stees

Floral Sales

photo of Michelle Stees, Floral Sales

When and where were you born? Cleveland, Ohio 

What is your favorite Catering Works recipe? I LOVE the tarragon chicken salad 

What is your favorite part of the job at Bloom Works? Meeting with our wonderful Clients and conceptualizing their dreams into reality. 

What's the most memorable event you ever worked on and why? A Japanese/American Wedding.  It was in September and the weather just turned cooler.  The Bride wore a Kimono designed with every flower in every color you can imagine.  The Wedding Florals and Cake Florals matched all the flowers in her dress.  The Groom wore a beautiful black tux that complimented the Bride.  There were 90 Guests, gorgeous hors d’oeuvres  and a Xylophone Player who entertained everyone with songs from Traditional Japanese to Bossa Nova. All the senses were enlightened and all the guests seemed to really be celebrating the union of this Bride and Groom. 

What are your hobbies outside work? Baking Cookies, Wood Block Printing, Intricate Coloring, Yoga, Meditation, Walking the Greenways of the Triangle and going to as many Museums, Galleries and Pop-Up Markets as possible.  

Ask Me? My favorite place I’ve ever lived?…Raleigh!  I have witnessed this city grow beautifully and gracefully over the past 20 years.  A lot of creativity exists here and I am proud to call it home.

Jena Grinder

Floral Designer

photo of Jena Grinder, Floral Designer