GTPulse: Dinnertime Made Easy with Across The Board Provisions
Justin Kellogg and Todd Thompson hit it off the first time they met.
“We briefly worked together at a place out in Glen Arbor, spring and winter of 2018 and 2019. We got along right away,” Justin said.
They were working in the kitchen where they shared a workload, jokes, and a love for good food.
They had both grown up in Traverse City and moved to Colorado sometime after graduating high school. While Justin was there he was doing a lot of private chef work that he enjoyed.
“In Aspen, the market was saturated with private chefs so it was harder to get work. When I moved back to Michigan I saw an opportunity with the market up here. Especially with the number of people who come up here in the summertime to vacation. Also, there aren’t a lot of people up here doing it so I thought there could be an opportunity to get into the private chef business here.”
Late last summer as the days began to show signs of shortening again, Todd and Justin started to prepare for a pandemic winter. As chefs, they knew that it would be likely that they would lose work at some point in the season. The restaurant that Todd was working at typically closed for one month a year. This year, the restaurant closed in November and won’t reopen until April.
Todd and Justin had discussed the private chef business idea before, and it was the perfect time to set their plans into motion.
“I could collect unemployment and be just fine, but that’s just not who I am. So I called Justin and said, ‘Let’s start now.’”
Across The Board Provisions is the resulting private chef and small catering company based in Traverse City. The name Across The Board is meant to encompass the variety of services that they’re offering. From romantic dinners to family dinners to supplying food for small parties, Justin and Todd want their customers to have more control over their menu than what a larger catering company would typically allow.
They opened up for business during the 2020 holiday season and have had a great response so far. Folks have enjoyed the flexibility and from-scratch meals. What’s continued in popularity past the season has been family dinners. Orders are placed with ATB earlier in the week, and then every Saturday, dinners are dropped off at your door.
“We do single-serving meals, family dinners. They can be put in the freezer for later and then heated up in the oven, so we’ve had success with that. We’ve also teamed up with a few local businesses too,” Todd said.
A Valentine’s Day one-stop-shop in Maple City featured ATB to-go dinners along with treats from IndieGrow Flower Farm and Red Gate Farm. They’ll be a part of a similar event for St. Patrick’s Day where pre-ordered dinners, baked goods and other items can be picked up in time for celebrating.
“We’ve been teaming up with them and we’re hoping to do that quarterly at least,” Todd said.
The mass of culinary know-how between the two of them has instilled a strong sense of pride in the food they serve. For now, they’re keeping options basic and accessible. Comfort foods like stuffed shells, chicken pot pie, and a French-style beef stew have been popular, but customers don’t have to limit themselves to dinners ATB has served before.
“When we were talking about a name we liked Across The Board because it’s ambiguous. We don’t want to say no if it has anything to do with food. If you have an idea, we want to make that happen for you,” Justin said.
Whether you’re planning an anniversary dinner, family dinner, party, or are looking for a way to pre-plan getting dinner on the table all week, Todd and Justin have got you covered across the board.
“We want our food to be unique and specific to the customer. We want them to get what they want and that it matches their dietary needs, expectations, everything.”
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