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In this episode we chat with Steven Tejano from Guero’s Verde Catering.

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Evermoore Wedding Vendor Show where we chat with local wedding vendors in Central California about how they help couples getting married. This show is designed for engaged couples and for our fellow wedding vendors to learn about and from each other. Browse over 1000 wedding vendors on our Central California vendor directory. This show is brought to you by Evermoore Films, Kern County’s leading wedding videography company. If you’re looking for a local wedding videographer in Central California check out Evermoore Films.


Ep 8 – From Lunchboxes to Luxury – Guero’s Verde Catering – California Caterer

Steven: It’s a lot of competition. Just like, you know, with the photography, film, and all that. There’s a lot of competitions everywhere, so, but competition is good. It keeps you on your feet. It keeps you on your feet, keeps you humble, and keeps you motivated. Because if not, if you don’t have no competition, You know, there’s no, no, no reason for you to push on and continue you know, your legacy or your business, you know, to make your customers happy.

That’s the number one thing. Customers are happy. A lot of it’s a word of mouth. 

Josh: Welcome to the Evermoore Wedding Vendor Show, where we chat with local wedding vendors. I’m Josh from Evermoore Films, the host of the Evermoore Wedding Vendor Show. Also the home of the Evermoore Wedding Vendor Directory, where we have over a thousand local wedding vendors listed in the central California area.

Let’s get into today’s show. Today, we’re here with Steven. From Weros Verde Catering and he’s a part of our wedding vendor directory. He’s been doing a great job catering in the area and beyond. And he’s gonna tell us a little bit about his company. Welcome to the show, Steve. 

Steven: Thank you, Josh. I appreciate it. Love working with you guys. 

Josh: Well, thank you. Tell us a little about your company, what you guys do. 

Steven: Well, we do quite a bit over the 16 years we do everything from catering from Kern County all the way to actually all of California now we’ve actually grown, we do everything from Texas style barbecue Italian food, Mexican food, appetizers lobster, we just got into the Tomahawk steak game for the past year, so we’re really good on that now, and especially in L.A., And at the Bay Area, we get booked quite a bit for the Tomahawk Steaks. We do, we do pretty much everything. We’ve got big menus. So especially for the weddings we do, kinships we do, private parties, especially business events, we’re fully insured. As a catering business we got our staff, we got awesome three chefs that work under me, I’m the executive chef that runs them, so so we’ve grown, we’ve gotten pretty good, we got our servers now, we also have bartenders we have live bands.

We have DJs karaoke DJs, and we just added ordained ministers for weddings and funerals. So we’re pretty excited. I’ll be, we’re, we’re getting a little bit, you know, little by little. 

Josh: Yeah. That’s awesome. You guys got the complete package there. 

Steven: Yes, we have to because it’s not a lot of the especially the weddings and businessmen, they want to shop one, one person, one place, right?

Instead of shopping all over the place and getting different bids. So we bring you the whole package to them. So they have to look. No, not too far for everything they need. The only thing we’re missing is photographer and video, which is that’s where you guys come in hand. Hey, there we go. That’s all right.

Josh: You guys are it. You guys do an awesome, awesome job. Well, that is good. So, and this is, that’s actually one of the reasons we do these conversations because at weddings, we’re always busy doing our job. And so as vendors, we hardly ever get a chance to talk with each other and find out like, like I had no idea you offered all those things and I thought all you did was catering.

So it’s cool for us to be able to sit down and have these conversations in front of all our vendor friends and, and other potential brides and clients who might be hiring us because. Sometimes people don’t realize the full scope of what we do because they just see us doing one thing on a wedding day.

So that’s perfect. That you’re able to kind of say, Hey, here’s all the things we do. So I, I know that catering is a thing that, you know, that you’re kind of known for most. So let’s talk about catering for a minute and, and tell us a little bit about how you got started in catering. 

Steven: Oh God. It was by mistake.

Josh: Oh, no

Steven: I said it was, it was, but honestly in the beginning the day, oh, I was back in the I was 21, 22. I took my culinary classes in San Francisco. Okay. I finished that back in, I think 96. I should be actually I, I don’t know if I should even say this on, on here. It’s not anything bad, but I used to be a pathologist investigator, which is a coroner investigator.

So, but I wanted to learn how to cook, you know culinary style to be a chef. So I, I, I did college in San Francisco and graduated. I did my back in 97, I took my how would you say, down here, my my apprenticeship. I started working at Red Lion under an executive chef. He was the awesome executive chef, took me under his wing.

After I got my credentials, and then I moved on to Best Western Inn. Best Western Inn, I think back in 99 working at Best Western Inn on used to be on Buck Owens. By now it’s called a junction. I think they changed the name again. So I moved up to there to a sous chef. So anyways, I did that for about 5 6 years.

Well, I burned myself out. It was just a lot of hours. I just, I was just done. I was just, you know, I’d be working 12 15 hours every day. Sometimes no days off, 6 7 days. Anyways, I got out of it for several years. Well I kind of still worked at my job, still do every once in a while, part time training and stuff like that I get called on.

My mom worked at the hospital for 20 something years, so when I was cooking at home my mom worked at Kern Medical Center in the, in the pharmacy department over bringing her plates. So, and this is just, when I’m at home, this is my day, you know, I’m not catering, it’s just mine. Right, right. So, after a while people in the, in the hospital were seeing my, you know, my mom’s plates.

So, I was like, they were like, looking at my mom like, well, what, who, who did that, you know? Where’d you get that plate from? We want some. So, lo and behold, after I was out of the game for about, I would say three to five years. I got dragged back into it, slowly but slowly from the, from Kern Medical Center.

So they just started ordering plates, and word got out of mouth, that’s usually how it goes, the word of mouth. Hey, can you do this? Can you do that? Can you do, you know, can you cater, you know? And just little by little I got dragged back in. So, you know, years later, the second time and I’m back at it. So that’s, that’s, that’s how my journey is crazy.

It’s crazy. So, yeah, but I’m here now. I’m still, still in business, you know, like any other business you go up and ups and downs, especially with the COVID and all this other stuff, but We, we did slow down a little bit during COVID, but not too much. So especially we go all over California now, so we get booked quite a bit, which helped us out a lot.

With all the business and stuff and it’s a lot of competition. Just like, you know, with the photography, film and all that. There’s a lot of competition everywhere. So, but competition is good. It keeps you on your feet. It keeps you on your feet. It keeps you humble and keeps you motivated. Because if not, if you don’t have no competition, you know, just no, no, no reason for you to push on and continue you know, your legacy or your business, you know, to make your customers happy.

That’s the number one thing. Customers are happy. And a lot of it’s a word of mouth. So we’ve been lucky and blessed all of us all these years and still we’re moving on, still learning, you know, after all these years, but you know, it’s, it’s a learning game. Yeah. So, in every event, every wedding, I just try to make it better and better, you know, to get it back.

So, stuff like that. So, it’s, it’s good. So, that’s my journey. You know, everybody says you should make a movie because you went through hell and back and it’s all the stuff you’ve been, you know, but it’s been a hell of a journey, but it’s good. Very good. Got to meet a lot of people in this, in this I would just say this environment.

What I do a lot of people. Yes. So, yeah, so we’ve been fortunate. 

Josh: That is awesome. 

So, you guys have such a wide range of services beyond just the catering. Go ahead and just tell us a little bit more about the different services you offer, a little bit more info about that. So if someone is, is looking for that, you know, kind of a one stop shop, let’s call it they know how you can help them out.

Steven: Okay. Yeah, what we do is especially when somebody calls us up or they can email us, we get a lot of emails, especially from people out of town. We do zooms, sometimes emails like this because they want to, you know, especially business and schools, weddings, you know, it goes on and on and on. We sit down.

We try to make it as easy as possible, as stressful as possible. I, me and the business and my wife, we, you know, we take as much stress off from an event because we’re scared. You know, none of that, but sometimes it is a lot of money, financially. Some people will have a budget, some people will not. But most of the people, they’re on a budget.

So we try to make it as easy, as stress free, as painless as possible. As for them to make it easy. Now we tell them, you know, once you hire us, we’re a one stop shop. Whatever you’re looking for, you got to eat. And I get calls all day long, all night long with weddings and they’re just freaking out, you know, it’s just, it’s just the, the the bugs that, you know, That people are nervous the way that the brides get nervous so yeah, we just, we make it really easy for them.

And we always, with all of our customers that book us and stuff. We make, we always talk to them to make sure, hey, you know, do you want to change your menu? We allow people to change the menu. You just want to add this. Cause we do everything from, you know, barbecue, Italian. Sometimes they want to add on some appetizers, lobster, whatever it is, whatever the case is.

So, we we always talk to our customers once they book us no matter what they can always change their menu with us until 1 month before event because that’s why I order all the foods, everything we need for their event to make sure everything’s locked in. Right. So plus, you know, sometimes, you know, they want everything.

They want the band. They want the DJ. They want the bartenders that we have. Sometimes and it’s fortunate, you know, we do do funerals. I do that three different Ministers. That they’re on my payroll, which we’ll do, they’ll do the weddings and funerals and stuff like that. So we, we come try to accommodate everybody as we can and make it as easy, especially for funerals, stuff like that.

But you know, the market’s out there, so we provide what our customers want is basically what we do. So what we have after the 16 years, that’s what we’ve grown so much to give give our customers more than just catering. 

Josh: Yeah, that is awesome. For the catering side of things. Normally I would be like, tell us about kind of your style and your approach and what sets you apart. But I know part of what sets you apart is that you have so many different styles that you do. 

Steven: So yeah, our main style is, it’s a Texas, Texas they call it tejano food Texas food.

So everything is, it’s homemade, it’s it’s, it’s homemade through me and my chefs that, that I have so nothing’s, nothing’s like, you know packaged or I don’t just say, I learned all this when I was in culinary school, so I’ve taught the chefs I have here and my some of my chefs to do the soup salad and stuff like that, how I want it, and they run their type kitchen, because sometimes I cannot be there, but it’s still my food.

My chefs, you know, they, they handle it to the T, you know, it’s just awesome flavors, just Texas swag. We do serve big portions, you know, that’s what everybody loves. So they look at our, their plates, they were sort of waiting. They’re like, yeah, these are big plates. They’re like, well, we don’t even need to take home.

You get a big bang for your buck. Right. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So now with us, too, when we came and stuff like that, because they bought all the food and when we care, we tell me all my staff that whatever food is left, it stays there with. With the customer because they bought it. It’s their food, but you’re not, we’re not bringing it back with us.

So they love that. It’s like, oh, we thought you’d take it back. You know, no, no, no, no. You bought it. This is all your food, whatever. If there is food, sometimes there’s not food left, right? Yeah, it all stays, you know, that’s, that’s just business. Not everybody follows that rule, but but That’s us. they bought the food.

So, you know, if you’re the customer, it stays there with you. So, yeah, that’s pretty much the fundamental, but that’s the stuff like that. So, it’s just a Texas style home cooking meals that we do, especially the barbecue and, you know, tomahawk steaks seafood, all that stuff. 

Josh: Yeah. What are some of your signature dishes that you guys do?

Steven: Oh, now we’re rock and rolling. We’re getting booked quite a bit on the tomahawk steaks. Wow, because when we do tomahawk steaks usually when you get one, they’ll slice it and you can pre slice, not after it’s cooked, they’ll slice it and you can share it with everybody. So, maybe two, three people can eat one tomahawk.

So with us, when we get booked to town, especially when we go to L. A. or San Francisco and stuff like that, everybody gets their own time off. They’ll sit there looking at a pay like, you got to be right, you know, they’ll say, oh yeah, you are. This is why you hired us, you know, and but yeah, we give, we give, you know, stuff like that.

That and our tacos, you know, we get quite a bit, because that’s it, that’s the game changer, tacos, right? You know, it’s been around for a while, but And it’s cheaper on the budget, you know, doing tacos and it feeds a lot of people. So we get quite a bit on that, but it’s just, it just depends where we go. The Kern County is more of a Mexican every once while Italian and the tacos, but once we go out of town.

The budget goes higher to say Fresno, Sacramento, LA, they want to, you know, they the budget gets higher. Like, they want the steaks. They want the tomahawks. They want to seafood lobsters that we do stuff like that. So it just depends where we’re going to. So we accommodate no matter what county we’re at.

Or a city, should I say, in California. So. So you have to, you gotta pay all the bills. Very good. To accommodate everybody. 

Josh: Do you guys go outside of California as well? Or do you just stick to California? 

Steven: Every once in a while, but it does get pricey. Like, we went to last year, we went to Idaho. They went out there, but it was real pricey, but they, they wanted us up there, they had our food, so they had it all up here in California.

Oh, okay. So the parents had it, and they, the parents paid for all of our transportation to get up there, they flew us up there, we were still up there for three days did a beautiful wedding for 275 people steaks and Mexican food. So they’re just like, man, we don’t have Mexican food up.

They do, but it’s not like this. So we ran them up. So it was, it was good. A few times we went to Las Vegas, did a couple of events up there. So it just depends. You know, sometimes we will, as long as the budget center and who calls us. And as long as we’re available. Stuff like that because we, we only do now three events per day.

Okay. So it’s just, it’s getting, it, it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of labor. So I see. Yeah. We try not to, if I do book more than that, like I used to do eight in a day back in the day. Wow. And it was just me. So there’s sometimes I don’t get home till two or three in the morning. That’s crazy.

Exhausted. I was just exhausted. I told my wife, no more. I’m too old for this, man. I’m going to keep it down to three. Now that I’ve got a bigger staff, so that way I can focus on each group and give all, everything we have to that, you know, to our to our customers.

Josh: That’s awesome. Focusing on quality. I like it.

Steven: That’s true. Exactly. Exactly. 

Josh: Very nice Well right here. We’re going to go ahead and take a quick break 

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Josh: So Steve, tell us about some of the memorable moments you’ve had in your catering career. 

Steven: Oh God. Over the, I would say 16 years we’ve been in business.

I’ve had some duties to work. When I was just by myself or just me, you know, it was a family, start off as a family business back in 07, 2007. There’s been times where I wasn’t seeing where I was going, where I, I dropped some of the food, where I just, it just comes in. My eyesight’s real bad. I sat there, I was like, oh my god, so I had to make a couple of phone calls quick.

Bring me this, bring me that. Yeah, that has some of that, I’ve had some where people just got too doozy at the, at the thing and had food fight, had food fights with our catering food. You’re like, Oh, but it’s their food. So yeah, me, my wife, they, they hammered everybody like, Oh, well, so we had to take their customers.

So we couldn’t say anything. We’ve got some duties at weddings and kinks. It’s like, Oh my God. And we had, I think maybe I think maybe two of them, or they actually, you know, and it happens every once in a while where the fight started. Oh yeah. And they knocked over all of our tables, all the tables.

Oh. It was just like, oh, it wasn’t our fault. Right. We’re there to serve. But it just, it happens just every once in a while, like, oh my god, like, what do we do? Like, everybody was in shock, but it just, nothing bad happened, but it just, it just happens. It just like, oh, oh, but we’ve had some doozies and shockers in our catering, you know, we haven’t, I don’t think we’ve seen everything yet, because every once in a while, we will get a dude, a new one that we’re like, Oh God, I guess you’re right.

Like, here we go. I thought we’d seen it all, but I guess not. But it’s good times though. It’s nothing, you know, nothing bad. But we’ve had some bloopers here and there or seen some bloopers. Totally. 

Josh: What advice do you have for couples who are looking for a caterer? Just, you know, maybe a 30 second version of advice.

Steven: What I tell all my customers. First of all, number one, you get what you pay for. That’s number one. Not only that, but number two is a lot of this word of mouth and look at their blogs. Look at their blogs. Look at their their Instagram, Google Facebook you know, just, you know, you got to get to know your caterer.

Right. Cause those are, those are the ones that are going to feed you. Those are the ones that are going to, you know, that’s a harder money. And it’s, you know, catering is not cheap. It’s just like a venue or a photographer. You know, you get what you pay for, but it’s not cheap though. But we tell everybody do your homework.

Yeah, that’s how I said, man, you make, you know, you gotta, you gotta have a relationship with your customer, you know, don’t make it was just business. So we don’t, we don’t, we don’t treat our customers like this is just business to pay up and, you know, you’re good to go. So, we try to have a relationship with all of our customers.

A lot of times we got to talk to the parents. So, we talk to the grandparents. So, sometimes we have a whole family meeting. So, everybody gets the good vibe, you know, it’s good. We don’t feel easy. So, you know. And every once in a while, if you have to do a taste test, but a lot of times we don’t because everybody knows our food.

Everybody’s had it. Like, Oh, we know what food you have. We know, we like this. But if you don’t know that cater, make sure you get the little taste test, you know, to make sure. And with our customers too, we allow our customers to change their their menu one month before the event. So we get booked out a year before, which is fine.

We just get this. We gave them, gave them the receipt. An invoice that way they have a copy. We have a copy once they make their deposit or whatever it is they want to do to hire us. And then throughout the whole year, a whole year, they can play with it, they can add to it, they can subtract to it, or they might come across more money, but they want to add appetizers, they want to add something, or go to a higher menu, that’s a little bit more costly, you know, so, yeah, so a lot of customers, they like that, it’s not just locked in once they hire us, so they can always change the menu to one month before the event, once they got plenty of opportunity to do what they want, the husband or wife, or whatever it is, business event.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of people like that. Yes, correct. Yeah. 

Josh: That, that is awesome. We do something similar with video where it’s like, you can always upgrade, you know, until, you know, like the week before the wedding, you know? So couples love that, so that’s awesome. So well let’s talk about budgeting.

Now, now that we’re. Kind of going down that road of what it looks like to, to find a caterer what should couples just in general and then we can talk specifically about what you guys do, but what should couples expect to pay when they’re looking for a caterer? A lot of people are getting, you know, first time wedding.

And they’re just like, I have no idea. A plates costs X amount. 

Steven: We charge per person. I got our standard taco parties. They’re ranged between eight and 10 a person just for the main tacos. And everything, they start adding beans, rice, and the price goes up just a little bit more higher because they’re adding more food to the menu.

Mexican, we, you know, we start charging from 13 on a Mexican site. And we offer everything, you know, standard Mexican chile vele, barbecue, not barbecue barracuda, which is a big thing. Right. The Mexican fajitas, stuff like that. Searching on up. So we’re not bad on price wise at all. We’re not a restaurant.

We’re a private catering business. So people get a big bang for it with us. Plus we serve Texas style big plates. So and with us, what everybody likes about us is, you know, after we are done catering, all the food stays there with the customer. Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, we package it. We give it a clean up everywhere we’re at.

And all the food stays there. If there’s food, that’s all because some people just, they want it all. And they wait, you know and I was talking about our barbecue. We charge anything from 1350 on up. For one protein, cell going to double, you know, a combo two proteins, and then the price goes up, it would be more higher.

Tomahawks, you know, those tomahawks steaks everybody gets their own. We charge 80 a person for that, and that’s just two different sides. Salad, stuff like that Italian dishes start at 13 with us starting, depends what they want. Seafood, and, you know, it goes up from there. I think seafood, I think we start at 15 a plate with our seafood menus.

And appetizers, standard, maybe 60 a platter. On up depends what they want appetizers stuff like that. We got tropical fruit trees that we do that a lot of people get from us because they’re beautiful. We light them up, especially at the venues and stuff like that. They sound very cool. Four feet high and they feed about 70, 80 people, but it’s just, they’re awesome.

They’re beautiful. Especially the waning kintsen and it’s a big tropical tree made out of pineapples. So all the fruits on the bottom and they’re like, man, that’s beautiful. And we just light it up with the lights. They’re like, man. So yeah, it just, sky’s the limit of what they want. We can do it all.

That is cool. That is really cool. That’s pretty much our standard and our price. Yeah. No, it’s not too bad, you know, but you have to say, you get a big bang for your buck with us. Right. 

Josh: Yeah, definitely. If people are interested in, in working with you, how should they get in touch with you? You know, phone number, Instagram, website, et cetera.

Steven: We do quite a bit. Especially Zoom is one of them. We get, we get that from schools. Sometimes venues, we do a Zoom meeting, they get on me to Zoom. Contact number is 661 741 5023, which is my home phone, or they can text or email me. My email is it’s kind of long. It’s Tejano1973 at gmail. com.

Or they can go on my Instagram or Facebook, which is under Gueros Verde Catering as well, and private message me. Whatever they need, stuff like that, there’s so many ways they get a hold of us. 

Josh: So it’s no excuse. No excuse. 

Steven: All day long, believe me. I get messages all day long. Can you do this? Can you do that? Yep. It’s our job, especially our customers that book you know, not to say saying 2024, we already got 30 bookings already. So all of 2024 we’re trying to keep it only 3, 3 events per day.

So, we used to do a lot more than that, but not no more that will be spent more time with our customer, more quality, you know, and because, you know, anything from catering or anything that they get that anybody buys, it’s, it’s expensive, you know, someone’s hard earned money. So, you got to get, you got to do, you know, what they want for their for their buck.

Josh: That’s right. Well, do you have a parting thought you’d like to leave people with?

Steven: Rocking into 2024. I hope everybody stays blessed, man. And, you know, cause this past few years have been just rocky road, man, especially this COVID. Not a bunch of good for war, stuff like that. And, man, I hope 2024 is better for everybody. Let’s do it, man. I hope to see you guys out there. I know, I know. We will. That’s right. That’s right. You guys are everywhere. Yeah, but you keep up the good work, brother. Keep up with the good work, man. 

Josh: Hey, well thank you, Steve. I appreciate it. 

Steven: You got it, bro. Hey, good talking to you. See you out there in the field, man. 

Josh: Yeah, thanks for being on the show. . 

If you like today’s episode be sure to like comment and subscribe on apple itunes and youtube Where we have the video version of the show be sure to leave us a comment or review Let us know what you liked what you learned and until next time i’m josh from Evermoore films Be sure to tune in next week for another episode of the Evermoore wedding vendor show