Fiddlehead Concepts Catering by Christy Valvano

Fiddlehead Plant

Leaving clients and guests with memories to savor and tastes to remember…

Executive Summary

Fiddlehead Concepts Catering is a fine catering service with a kitchen located in Canandaigua, New York.  They have been in business since 2004 and been steadily gaining new clients ever since.  This business is co-owned by Elke Schmitt and Julie Woloson.  Elke and Julie have over 15 years of experience in food preparation and service.  Not only can they cook professionally, but they are great for planning events as well.  What makes these two business partners a step above the rest is their passion.  They are truly passionate for their jobs and love every second they spend at work.  Nothing makes their job more satisfying then when they see a smile across their clients faces.

Their menu has a great variety to meet every taste, need, or want.  Fiddlehead Concepts prides itself in regularly creating personalized menu selections.  If you have dietary or allergy restrictions, they are more than happy to accommodate.  If what you had in mind for your event is not on this list, then do not hesitate to ask because they love creating new menu selections just for specific events, it is what keeps them so creative.  They offer every course of a meal starting with hors d’oeuvres to soups and salads, to entrees, side dishes, desserts, and a children’s menu.

Fiddlehead Concepts is currently a word-of-mouth company, meaning most of their clients were gained by either attending a party that Fiddleheads catered, or a friend or family member referred them.  So far this has been good for their company giving them a steady client list, however, they could always use more business.  Because of their word-of-mouth technique, it has given them a creative niche.  They mainly cater to more affluent types of parties, whether it is a wedding of 200 hundred guests, or a dinner party at a house on the lake for 12 guests.  They have a wide photo gallery in their website so all potential clients can see just how unique and beautiful their creations truly are.

See their website for more pictures!

 SWOT Analysis


  • Creativity: They take pride in being a creative catering service.
  • Love their community: They buy all the foods that they can locally, to support the community.
  • Versatility: They are always willing to create whatever it may be that their client wants.
  • Hours of operation: They will work seven days a week and cater events at whatever time desired.
  • Location: Their kitchen is located in Canandaigua, but they that is right in the epicenter of where their events generally take place.
  • Branding: Since they are primarily word-of-mouth, all of their clients have had positive experiences which means that their is no negative opinions out there.


  • Size: Fiddleheads is a generally small company with only just three main workers in their kitchen, making it difficult to mass produce their products.
  • Cost: Generally, the finer and less generic foods tend to be more expensive.
  • Awareness: While they do have a great client list, it is not that huge, they need to expand on their awareness.


  • Social Media: They have a great chance of creating awareness if they created a better website that was updated more often.  Also, considering creating a Facebook page for business purposes.
  • Advertisements: Since they would like to stay generally close to their niche, they could consider creating advertisements in local Rochester journals and magazines.


  • They do not have any direct threats from other catering services for their niche in their area, however, more generic catering services like Wegmans have been on the rise due to the affordability.

Plan Of Action With a Web 2.0 Twist

The main idea for Fiddlehead Concepts is to increase awareness.  This can be done through a few basic ideas.  First they would want to consider a stronger social media presence.  These days, people find it easier to research companies through social media and if a potential client sees that the company they are searching for does not have a social media page they will think there is a problem with the company.  Fiddlehead Concepts has such a great reputation right now and I believe that a Facebook page could only help this reputation.  It could be useful because then other people could see pictures easier of past events and see their capabilities first hand.  They could also gain more popularity through this Facebook page attracting new customers.  This would lead to more awareness through the internet, which can reach infinite amounts of people.

Along with a greater online presence, they have multiple opportunities throughout the community.  I would love to see them create a tent of samples specifically designed for the Canandaigua Wine Walk.  This would not only get their name out their but it would promote their brand by being linked to a fun and creative event.  Also, it would let potential clients be able to taste what they have to offer first hand.  Another event that would be great for them to tie into is the Canandaigua Arts and Music Festival that takes place in Canandaigua down on the lakefront.  This also has the same type of idea as the Wine Walk but with greater opportunity for their creativity.  They would be able to create their tent in a unique way that would stand out from the others and be able to cater to those who are walking by.  Now I do realize that this would cost them money, but in order to make money you have to spend a little first.

Overall, these ideas will help to increase Fiddlehead Concepts awareness in a very positive light.  The ideas that should be implemented will work towards spreading the message of the Fiddlehead brand which is a unique and creative service that provides their clients with a fabulous event where everyone leaves with a full stomach.  Each idea reiterates the fact that Fiddleheads is already a great company with great owners, but just needs a little expansion in order to become excellent.


Fiddlehead Concepts prides itself in its attention to detail while building strong client relationships, creating unique menus that reflect each individual client, preparing exquisite homemade cuisine featuring local products, and offering more than mere food embellishments such as a floral arrangement and handmade tablecloths, all to frame the food in a unique ambiance.

Check out their Brochure!


2 responses

  1. What about sharing more event-based social media (people enjoying the events, etc.)

  2. […] think that Christy Valvano gets the best creativity award white paper because her idea is different from everyone else’s […]

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