A Recipe For Success

By Linda Navarro
The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

The year was 1989. Michelle Talarico was manager of a local restaurant where the band Appaloosa was playing, with songstress Kathy Dreiling at the microphone.

Then the women decided it might be kind of fun and possibly a good idea to buy a little box-lunch and takeout deli called Picnic Basket. They divvied up $300 each and became caterers.

Now it’s 25 years later, their company is called Soup to Nuts Inc. and it has multiple parts, each with its own personality: Picnic Basket Catering, Cravings Catering and Buffalo Gals Grilling Co. All of the companies are regular Best of the Springs winners.

As part of the busy holiday season, the pair, along with son Sam Talarico, invited their families, friends and vendors to come for an anniversary celebration — and to eat and dance in the party tent set up in the parking lot.

Dreiling and Talarico thanked their staff and all those they work with and Dreiling said it never gets old going to work.

The close-knit staff “is the craziest cast of characters you’ll find anywhere,” Dreiling said. “We work hard, but they’re why work is so much fun.” It’s the perfect business for self-described “adrenaline junkies,” she said.

As is typical of the Talarico-Dreiling team, who volunteer on boards and with nonprofits throughout the community, it was also an opportunity to raise more than $2,100 for the National Brain Tumor Society. This time the fundraising was very personal.

Cravings Executive Chef Jenna Hines, who started with the company just out of culinary school six years ago when she was 21, wanted to help her mother, Dana Hines, as she undergoes treatment and possible clinical research.

Jenna’s parents, grandparents and other family members were there in support. And it was also an ideal opportunity for the chef to show off some of her latest culinary offerings to those closest to her.
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