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Charlotte's Catering celebrates 31 years and welcomes new business partner

The local catering business wishes to share its story with a free picnic at Connor's Park on Sept. 27

Charlotte’s Catering has good reason to celebrate this fall. After 31 years in the community, the establishment has undergone a major development that will ensure the future of the catering business.

It all started back in 1989 with the purchase of an old building downtown.

“In 1989, we bought 18 Main Street North from the City (of Moose Jaw). It was probably one of the most derelict buildings on Main Street at the time. I completely gutted it, and then started building it from there,” co-owner Bernie Dombowsky explained.

Three years later Bernie and his wife Charlotte opened their restaurant.

“In January 2000, we sold that building to the Tunnels of Moose Jaw and we moved to South Hill beside the Fourth Avenue Bridge,” Dombowsky explained. “In 2012 we expanded the kitchen. We outgrew the size that we had so we expanded it.”

Things then took a sudden turn for the worse after a health issue came up in the kitchen manager’s family.

“In 2014, our kitchen manager quit on short notice,” he said with a heavy heart.  

Dombowsky was deeply moved, and this also got him thinking about the future of the establishment, as there was nobody to take over after he and his wife were ready to retire.

“I have no intention of quitting, but I do want to slow down,” he said. “It was a miracle what happened next."

The kitchen manager prayed, asking for Bernie and Charlotte to find someone who could replace her on short notice and who would be an ideal match for the role.

“Before I could even advertise, Aleksandra dropped in to ask for a job,” he said as his mood lifted. “Within her two weeks’ notice period, Krista (the kitchen manager) had the chance to train Aleksandra.”

The timing was beyond explanation and Aleksandra Bijelic turned out to be that perfect match — so much so, that she’s now a major shareholder in the company.  

“Now that Aleksandra’s family is part of the business, that puts Charlotte’s on a firm foundation going forward,” said Dombowsky.

Dombowsky had also considered moving to Regina over the last two years for business considerations.

“Aleksandra’s family is firmly rooted in Moose Jaw, and we’re firmly rooted in Moose Jaw, so Charlotte’s Catering will continue to be firmly rooted in Moose Jaw,” he said with confidence.

“As a way to say thank you for the 31 years to the City of Moose Jaw, and as a way to introduce Aleksandra and her family to the community, and to publicly acknowledge that she is a major shareholder… that is why we’re having the event at Connor’s Park,” Dombowsky said.  

No other development could have been better suited because Charlotte’s Catering is all about the people.

“We’ve always had incredible staff,” Dombowsky said. “The staff is what makes Charlotte’s.”

The upcoming free picnic supper is an extension of this spirit, and the humbled staff at Charlotte’s want to share their story with the community.

“The free meal will be a reflection of what we do,” Dombowsky said.  

With a mind toward picnic food options, pulled pork was chosen because it’s both an ideal food choice and it will showcase the new item on the menu.

“The pulled pork comes with five salads and dessert,” Dombowsky added.

“Our banquets have seven salads, and that’s one of the things people like so much about the food, and the cheesecake,” he explained. The free picnic will have a reduced salad list due to logistical considerations, but nobody will leave disappointed.

“In Moose Jaw, you always run into people you know,” Dombowsky said, noting that the key attraction will be socializing over a good meal. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The picnic event will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 27, and will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Connor’s Park pavilion.

Connor’s Park is located south of Moose Jaw along Ninth Avenue Southwest.

To contact Charlotte’s Catering for more details or to book a catering service for your event, the number is 306-692-4000.

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