October 29, 2021

Autumn at Independence Grove

October 29, 2021

Autumn at Independence Grove

Autumn. The word itself elicits images of nesting, comfort, and all the cozy feels. We slow down, both in our lives and in our cooking. It’s a time when our thoughts of food transition from the bright freshness of summer to the warm heartiness of harvest. The immediacy of tossed-together salads and quick-grilled proteins transform into deep roasted vegetables and slowly braised meats. It’s a time to reflect, appreciate, and harvest all the beautiful feelings which have ripened over the summer.

Autumn at IG

At Independence Grove, we are fortunate to watch the changing of the seasons right outside our door. The variegated greens of summer give way to the brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows of autumn. Similarly, on our plate, bright new potatoes mature, becoming deeply caramelized sweet potatoes. Herbed chicken breasts mellow into slow-roasted turkey. Everything about Autumn celebrates the patience of waiting for the last falling leaves and the promise of comforting fare.


October 15, 2019

Employee Spotlight: Marta Mardosz

October 15, 2019

Employee Spotlight: Marta Mardosz

At Events at Independence Grove, a Catering by Michaels company, we know that we wouldn’t be where we are without our amazing team. To celebrate the wonderful people who work at this company, we regularly feature their stories on our blog.

We sat down with our Event Coordinator, Marta Mardosz, to learn a little bit more about her life at work (and outside of it).

Here’s what she had to say:

Q. What did you do before working at Events at Independence Grove?

A. I was working at Soldier Field at Aramark and I was the Supervisor in the Suites department.

Q. How did you first get involved withEvents at Independence Grove? Which other roles have you had in the company?

A. I was tired of having a seasonal job and was looking for something more permanent. I came across Catering by Michaels’ website and noticed that they were looking for an Assistant Event Producer at their exclusive venue, Independence Grove.

So that’s where I started in April of 2016. I was promoted to the role of Event Coordinator after about a year of working at Catering by Michaels, in June 2017.

Q. Tell me about your position? What does that look like on a daily basis, and in general?

A. I stay busy on a daily basis!

On weekdays, I take care of corporate meetings. On the weekends, I’m at functions such as weddings, baby showers, and memorials.

During the week, for the most part, I work on events going on that week and meet with couples for weddings. Sometimes we have to push those meetings to the weekend and sometimes the meetings are virtual — via Zoom or Facetime.

We’re good at accommodating for any customer need!

Q. What’s the best part of your job?

A. Knowing that during a couple’s special day, we can be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Getting married is a very intimate experience. Being a part of it makes it special.

Being able to help them, seeing them happy, and being a part of it is so rewarding.

We take care of everything from the venue to catering. Many times, the couple’s vendors will reach out directly to us instead of going through the couple because of our ties to the venue. This helps us take that stress off them to let them enjoy their special day.

Seeing them happy because they don’t have to worry about anything else is very rewarding.

Q. What’s the hardest part of your job?

A. Helping people plan memorials is always tough because people are in an emotional state and it’s hard to know how best to comfort them.

Miscommunication is also a major drag to the process. If for some reason the client doesn’t provide us with all the information we need (e.g. the budget), it becomes very difficult to do our best work.

The job requires my attention round the clock. So I have to make adjustments to accommodate all these daily activities.

I also have to take complete control over my own food cravings to avoid gaining too much weight!

Q. What are your favorite things to do in Chicago?

A. I love going to concerts. I grew up in a house full of music and I love that there are so many venues here.

I also love going to museums — especially the Shedd Aquarium.

Another great thing about Chicago is that every night new restaurants are opening up. I want to explore them all!

Q. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

A. Reading books and listening to music. I used to run a lot — working on getting back into that!

Q. What’s your favorite book?

A. Crime books, especially by Scandinavian authors. I could read them over and over again. But my favorite book ever is Pride and Prejudice.

Q. Do you have any pets?

A. Yes! Two cats.

Q. Favorite vacation you’ve ever been on?

A. Paris. I was there years ago and still remember everything like it was yesterday. Ever since, I’ve always wanted to go back. It’s beautiful.

Q. How does sustainability fit into your daily life (outside of Catering by Michaels)?

A. My thought is the less plastic, the better.

In general, I try to minimize waste — especially when it comes to food. I don’t use plastic, instead focusing on reusable glass. Biodegradable stuff is necessary for disposables.

This same mindset also extends to buying clothes. I don’t like buying new stuff if I can help it.