By Andrea Mau
Web Content Contributor
The Root Cellar Catering Co. and The Coffee Bar are one of the few local businesses still active in San Marcos. Their catering is best known for its fresh ingredients used in relaxed yet elegant dishes.
The Coffee Bar ran by The Root Cellar Catering Co. is one of the best places to study and drink one of their specialty coffees, wines, or pastries.
I was able to correspond with Megan Turbeville, Executive Chef of the Root Cellar Catering Co. and The Coffee Bar. Due to the Coronavirus, the interview was conducted online with written answers to questions.
We discussed her work, their response to COVID-19 and what we as a community can do to support our local businesses during this economically strenuous time.
Although Turbeville was originally only hired as a chef at the original Root Cellar Cafe, she now manages both of its sister companies: Root Cellar Catering Co. and The Coffee Bar.
When asked how she can run so many businesses, Turbeville said, “We have a supportive group of peers in the business community, and we have incredible regulars that have become lifelong friends. It’s really and truly a community.”
The Root Cellar Catering Co. and The Coffee Bar also pride themselves in their excellent staff.
When asked what the greatest part of their company is, Turbeville said, “The staff, 100%. Of course, we have amazing products, but our employees are amazing… There’s nothing worse than a snobby barista! One of our core values as a company is to care/be kind. Without that, what are we even doing here?”
During the breakout of COVID-19, Root Cellar Catering Co. was entering its busiest season for events. The massive impact is clear as Turbeville said, “All our SXSW events were canceled, corporate companies across the board stopped hosting parties in person, and all of our wedding clients from mid-March through May had to be rescheduled.”
Although The Coffee Bar remains closed until further notice, Root Cellar Catering Co. is now accepting small parties for catering.
In doing so, Root Cellar Catering Co. has taken every precaution to secure the safety of its guests and employees: Masks and gloves are required, plexiglass dividers are used for bar service and the buffet-style service is now served by the staff.
Root Cellar Catering Co. takes extra steps when it comes to safety by requesting that clients pick venues that provide air conditioning for guests and staff. One of the greatest challenges which come with COVID-19 is the mask overheating the staff while they work in 100-degree weather.
“And, having no control over what event guests are doing with their own safety. I can only protect my staff… I can’t force the mother of the bride to wear a mask,” said Turbeville. More than ever these obstacles she cites are what other local businesses are currently struggling with.
You can support and celebrate local businesses like the one highlighted in this article by picking up food from resident restaurants instead of global fast-food chains. Spread awareness for them using local hashtags and practice COVID-19 safety standards everywhere you go.
When asked how we as a community can better support businesses like Root Cellar Catering Co., Turbeville said, “I think it’s important to hold onto what makes this town unique, and it’s not propping up Austin chains… it’s supporting the businesses that were born right here in SMTX!”
Featured image by KTSW Multimedia.