In The Catering Kitchen with Collyer Catering

It’s time to turn the spotlight once again on one of Total Party Planner’s amazing, talented, and successful clients. This time, we turn the spotlight on Collyer Catering in Connecticut. There, the chef/manager team of Mark Sharon and Reed Collyer (who are also husband and wife) has been running Collyer Catering since 2000.

They state on their website that they felt the market for innovative, handcrafted food was under served in their area, so they started Collyer Catering to fill that niche and that demand. They write:

“We believe deeply in hand-crafting nearly everything that leaves our kitchen, a process we feel results in a superior product, but our expertise extends beyond food to every element of an event.”

We wanted to dig a little deeper, so we reached out to Reed to get her point of view on catering and how Total Party Planner software has helped Collyer Catering grow.

TPP: Why do you cater? What got you into the business? 

Reed Collyer: I have been catering since I was first asked to help at neighbors’ house parties as a teenager. I have always been passionate about food and bringing people together. My husband, our chef, wanted to strike out on his own in 2000, so it was the perfect match!

What convinced you that it was time to try some catering software in your business? What were you hoping to get out of it?

We had purchased another software [program] a few years ago, …, and while I researched before buying, every time we needed the software to adapt to our business needs, it required another costly upgrade. Plus I wasn’t happy with how difficult it was to modify for our business model. I had just reached out to them for a quote on several upgrades, and they wanted close to $3,000 for the updates. I was at the Catersource show speaking with other caterers and asked what they used for their business. Total Party Planner was named time and time again, so I visited the booth and was sold!

Why did you choose TPP over other software? 

I like the constant support and willingness to make changes based on the customer feedback. Our businesses are always changing and evolving, and TPP has the flexibility to grow as we do. The support team is always responsive, helpful, and above all available!

What is the most surprising positive thing that happened to you (or to your business) after you started to use Total Party Planner Catering Software?

We are now perceived as a much more professional company. The proposals and invoicing templates in particular help us present ourselves as the established company we are. I always had to explain my quotes and invoicing before. Now they are straightforward and understandable.

What’s your favorite feature or trick you can do with the software—and how does it help you?

Exporting to QuickBooks saves me countless hours on bookkeeping. I also love the staffing feature, which saves us three steps from the old method of booking staff.

You can read more about Collyer Catering at their website.

Have you been winning applause for your events? We want to hear about it—and about how using Total Party Planner helps you win more of that applause. Send us an e-mail at  We want to hear your story!