Today our first speaker was Suzanne Smith, owner of Food for Thought Catering in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Suzanne talked today about the new trends in catering for 2020.
• The Mocktail – these are drinks designed to be flavorful drinks without alcohol and are becoming popular in some of the fanciest restaurants and bars around the country. Although crafts beers and cocktails are still very popular but mocktails are expected to grow 7.1% in sales this year. Food for Thought can offer bartending and is staying on this trend -learning all the new tricks in the trade.
• “Free From” foods are becoming a necessity with people suffering from allergies and the gluten issues people are suffering from. They expect a 8.1% annual growth in these food products over the next 8 years. Food for Thought is not a gluten free kitchen but work to provide food that will be safe for many of the restrictions that people face and they do make all their egg products with gluten free flour.
• In 2018 the FDA made it so that restaurants have to make caloric information readily available, so customers are expecting to see all the numbers. In 2020 catering events will be expected to provide the same and more for their clients with health conscious attendees who are aware of what they are eating.
• Plant based meats are becoming all the rage – you can say good bye to tofu and soy and hello to beyond meat and the gourmet chefs creating dishes with peas, carrots, avocados and beets as the main event.
• Now bacteria is not a bad thing – probiotics are the new rage – kimchi, kombucha and kefir are sharing a moment in the sun. These are being included as a based for the craft mocktails helping keep many tummies happy. They are also including some fermented foods coming out of the closet and making their way to plates, keep some mints on hand when serving these…
• CBD infused foods – CBD has become a area of interest recently due to the promises of health benefits, this revolution is not just in ointments anymore. The cannabinoid movement is moving into the restaurant and drink industry including everything from infused drinks to CBD cooking oil. Expect this industry to keep growing and becoming a mainstay.
• Events that trended toward Asian foods in 2019 are now trending to West Africa for 2020. The 16 nations of West Africa have the same general underlying flavor mixed with influence of Europe and the Middle East – bringing a regional flavor to the dinner table.
• The stand out of the plant based meat substitute is Jack Fruit that has a unique texture and absorbs sauces and flavors easily and is the perfect blank canvas for creating the perfect mock pulled pork, tex-mex recipes or even grilled on the barbeque.
• Fair Trade and food sourcing are becoming a hot topic as well. It is not just how the food is grown – it also includes where it comes from, how it is treated and who is managing it. The Fair Trade Certified seal is a compact that includes rigorous social, environmental and income sustainability compliance that makes sure that the farms maintain both environmental as well as income sustainability for marginalized and at-risk communities.
• Event catering is also moving into a less structured party – to create an event rather that just a party. With less scheduled breaks for meals and more continuous service throughout the event look to add more to you event budget.
If you are looking for a catering company for your next big event – give Food for Thought Catering a call for someone who will work with you to create a wonderful event.
Suzanne Smith * Food for Thought Catering * 303.425.5442 *


Our second speaker was Debbie Hanson, owner of La Dolce Vita Coffee Shop in Arvada, Colorado. Debbie followed Suzanne with a food themed talk. Telling us that all of their food is made from scratch – whether it is the yummy cinnamon rolls, muffins, croissants, pastries or their fabulous quiche. At La Dolce Vita, they source all the meats and toppings for their sandwiches as locally as they can. They have a good variety of lunch time sandwiches like the Turkey Avocado Croissant – turkey breast with sliced avocado served on a fresh croissant with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and mustard, Th Arden-B Chicken Salad sandwich – shredded chicken with diced celery, bell peppers, cucumber, chopped walnuts and La Dolce Vita’s special mix of onion, garlic, lemon pepper, sour cream, ranch and mayonnaise – served on your choice of bread. The Hawaiian Ham sandwich – Sliced roasted ham with crushed pineapple, lettuce and tomato on your choice of bread or the Hot Hamster – sliced roasted ham with your choice of Swiss, Provolone or Cheddar, lettuce, tomato mayonnaise and mustard on your choice of bread. If that hasn’t whetted your appetite try some of the breakfast options – like the Breakfast Croissant – two scrambled eggs, cheese and your choice of ham, bacon or turkey or a Breakfast Burrito – two scrambled eggs, cheese and your choice of ham, bacon or turkey, or maybe you need to feed your sweet tooth in the morning try a Cinnamon Roll or Cinnamon Toast.
If you are trying to limit your sugars La Dolce Vita has around 20 different sugar free flavorings like almond, banana, English toffee, peppermint and Irish crème – to fill your coffee with wonderful flavors. They also have available a CBD powder that you can add to your coffee or tea – they also have the powder for sale to take home.
La Dolce Vita has started offering music on the weekends – Friday offers music from 80’s Hair band to new wave techno to the blues – Saturdays is the more standard coffee shop music fair along with every other week being an open mic night and on Sundays they have everything from a cellist to a blue singer. So keep them in mind for a weekend outing for the whole family!
Stop by La Dolce Vita for coffee, tea, a breakfast burrito, a Hot Hamster or just a quiet time by yourself!
Debbie Hansen * La Dolce Vita * 303.456.8919 *