An interview with Lynette La Mere
wedSB: Please tell us about yourself and how you began Pure Joy Catering.
Lynette: I began my life in the culinary arts at my grandfather’s side; he raised me and was a wonderful chef. At his insistence I studied restaurant management and professional cooking in Glendale, although I did not graduate High School, I continue to self educate voraciously even today. I started Pure Joy Catering in 2001 as a single mom with full time custody; my boys are now both studying at Stanford and they cook too.
At Pure Joy we share my grandpa’s passion for all things edible, his endless curiosity and pride in creating and serving spectacular special event meals with about 20,000 wedding and special event guests each year. It’s funny how the conservative, naturally green concepts and the focus on local produce he taught me are still such core values today. Our community service efforts are primarily for children, animals and the environment.
I’ve always wanted to own commercial real estate & house my own business and have finally reached that goal with the purchase of 111 East Haley Street. We’ve built a spectacular event production facility for Pure Joy Catering with comfortable offices, a beautiful commercial kitchen, three giant walk ins, a warehouse full of goodies and a sunny conference room. The guest bathroom is wall papered with thank you notes from our clients. But best part of all is the warm friendly environment we all get to work in every day; the Pure Joy Team is a really exceptional group of long time event pros that work so well together.
wedSB: What can a wedding couple expect when planning their wedding with Pure Joy?
Lynette: Pure Joy Catering is a genuinely full service catering company with event planners here full time to help. Our services include full event planning, schematics, outstanding event staff, catering chefs, bartenders and full liability and workman’s coverage, as well as the insurance to serve alcohol, custom menus with delicious farmer’s market produce, fun appetizers and cocktails, setup, teardown, all of the rentals and linens needed, non alcoholic beverages, coffee stations, décor and presentation to go with your plan.
wedSB: You have helped plan thousands of events, are there any that stand out as being extremely creative or different?
Lynette: Its always the last one we did that we’re excited about! Last Sunday we did a large Rastafarian Party with delicious Caribbean flavors & beautiful tropical florals and a steel drum band – great cocktails. Everyone was so happy.
wedSB: What kind of trends are you currently seeing in wedding catering & themes? Anything new & exciting?
Lynette: I’ll tell you; our clients have taught me so much over the years! They are a very sophisticated bunch – always on trend and challenging us to fuse different ethnicities and styles while pleasing large numbers of guests. Gluten free and vegan choices are getting more mainstream. What I love is that we can do whole weddings for 200 guests that are gluten free & vegan and DELICIOUS!
wedSB: In your opinion, what makes utilizing Pure Joy for wedding catering unique & special?
Lynette: Off premise full service catering is all this company does.
We don’t do anything else.
All hands are on this deck
So we get it right
wedSB: Congratulations on all of the awards you & Pure joy Catering continually receive! Can you tell us the most current titles awarded?
Lynette: The readers of the SB Independent just awarded us Best Caterer in Santa Barbara again which is such an honor because so many of our clients are from out of town, we’re very lucky to have so many happy event hosts & guests that are locals too!
wedSB: Do you have any favorite wedding venues in Santa Barbara?
Lynette: You have to see my website Santa Barbara Venues This site is hosted free of cost to both the clients & the venues; there’s no mark up. This is my personal way of saying thank you to the visitors and venues of Santa Barbara that make my business here possible.