….flying down the highway at 70 mph

Since 1990, CoJo Unlimited Catering has been preparing delicious food and coordinating successful events throughout Austin and the surrounding communities.

The CoJo team offers a diverse menu for our corporate catering clients, and can customize any type of menu for private parties or special events. Their capabilities are unlimited for any event as we can assist with every aspect including rentals, music, floral design & event coordination.

Cater.com: Despite having extensive catering menus to choose from, you’re also happy to customize to suit any event or requests. What types of event specific menus or dishes do you most enjoy planning and preparing?

Joni: Being from Texas and getting my start in the food business in an Interior Mexican restaurant, I always love to create new and different Southwestern cuisine. However, I also get very excited when we are challenged to put together a menu based on a particular “theme”. For instance, holiday parties at a Children’s Museum, parties for the Oscars or a Kentucky Derby soirée; that’s when we really have fun creating and cooking!

cojo unlimited catering event

Cater.com: It’s great that CoJo Unlimited Catering can assist with every aspect of an event including rentals, music, floral design and event coordination. What can a potential client expect from a consultation when planning for a very large wedding?

Joni: Although we have geared our company more toward corporate events and not weddings, there are still the same expectations from the client. Our first consultation covers, the who, what, when where and why…much like writing an article for a news piece. We get the nuts and bolts first and then we begin with the creative process.

Cater.com: When it comes to troubleshooting at a large event, what do you keep in your bag of tricks?

Joni: Besides the obvious supply of extra plates, cups, napkins & utensils, it’s the foresight of our experienced staff to anticipate trouble before it happens and be as proactive as possible to ensure success.

catered salad

Cater.com: What inspired you to launch your Casseroles To Go line of products?

Joni: Our clients inspired us to begin our Casseroles To Go! For many years, we had so many people say “Wow, I wish I could have some of that to take home” and that’s how we began this line. We have some of the same customers still call us after more than 15 years of offering this service.

Cater.com: What are some easy ways to elevate a corporate function from standard to special?

Joni: We transform from standard to special daily, using black or white linens and matching serving ware for our tables. Also, upgrading from biodegradable paper ware to VerTerra ware, which are made from fallen leaves, totally transforms a buffet table. We like to add some greenery & fresh flowers around serving pieces to make the food really stand out.

catered buffet

Cater.com: What are your biggest tips when it comes to outdoor entertaining? What are some aspects that are often overlooked or under planned?

Joni: The weather! I know it seems obvious, but most people think they have a plan B….when in reality, “think” being the key word, they don’t. You must have an executable plan B. Tents can be very expensive, especially at the last minute and most venues that provide outdoor facilities, don’t have much indoor capability. Just be prepared going forward, that your guests may be a little crowded, if the weather does not cooperate.

cojo catering spread

 

Cater.com: Congratulations on reaching 25 years in business! If you could plan a no expense spared party for this major milestone, what would it look like?

Joni: How much fun would that be!!! Well, I’ll tell you…someone else would cater it! Seriously, I’d have a “Party in the Parking Lot” of our brand new kitchen that we built. It is my dream-come-true kitchen and I’d love to show it off. Completely tented with carpet, I’d fill the space with cocktail tables, bars on all 4 sides and a large 4 sided buffet area. We would showcase our best of the best and hire staff to come in to set up, serve and clean EVERYTHING up, so my regular staff could have some well-deserved fun! I would have my own “Uber” service, 4-6 individuals to drive guests automobiles home and a second driver to pick that driver up to return.

brunch buffet

Cater.com: When reflecting on over 2 decades of working in the catering industry, what event or success story (or stories) immediately come to mind?

Joni: We were hired by Bank of America to cater a bus trip to San Antonio for the banks top depositors. The excursion was going to see “The Phantom of the Opera” at the very historic “Majestic” Theater. We catered a 3 course meal with adult beverages & dessert and coffee from the back of the bus….flying down the highway at 70mph. We did this event 3 times! It was a huge success!

Catering for the Texas Conference for Women Sponsorship reception in the first years of this well-known event at the Texas Governor’s Mansion was definitely a highlight of my career.

Finally, the fact that I have clients which I have known for over 25 years and still provide catering to, is my biggest “success” story of all. It lets me know that we did something right over the last few decades to accomplish that kind of loyalty and trust!

Share This Article:

About Joni Stoughton

CoJo Unlimited Catering, Inc. began servicing Austin & the surrounding communities in April 1990. Connie Matthews & Joni Stoughton (the Co and Jo) started this successful full service catering business out of a very small converted house in Central Austin. After 10 years together, this partnership, amicably decided to dissolve and Joni began her journey with husband Gerald (Coach as he's known...the next Co). Check out Joni's featured interview on Cater.com.