Kansas City restaurant catering veterans Todd and Andrea Hulse are ready to take on some new challenges the way they always have – side by side.
The married couple has over 65 years of combined catering experience in Kansas City and recently joined the KC Hopps team as the group's new catering operations director and sales and events director, respectively.
Together, they have spent the past 20 years leading the catering division at Fiorella’s Jack Stack, where they built and mentored a barbecue sales team of more than 40 people, building the Jack Stack catering division into one of the most successful in the city.
Now, this husband-and-wife team is ready for a new challenge as they move beyond barbecue and manage the catering talent behind several event spaces and even a new restaurant concept under the KC Hopps catering umbrella.
“Working with the folks that created the Shawnee-based Rufus Teague barbecue sauce line, KC Hopps catering is planning to open up a barbecue restaurant for the Rufus T. brand inside of the Hy-Vee Arena, where we already have catering rights and manage the bar onsite,” Todd says.
The duo will manage 40 employees and oversee both Relish Classic Catering and Shining Stars Catering, which will both soon merge into KC Hopps Catering. Separately, they will also manage catering for The Moose Truck and The View at Briarcliff Event Space along with the Bottoms Up Bar and catering operations inside the Hy-Vee Arena.
“I have been working with KC Hopps for the last two years, and in that time the catering division has seen a 48 percent increase in sales,” explains Todd. “Now that Andrea has joined me, we are both excited to work for a company like KC Hopps that is just starting to build a catering brand and a professional team from the ground up.”
That’s not the only thing that the couple plans to build from the ground up, as they are also currently looking for a new 10,000-square-foot event space. Here, they plan to add on a commissary kitchen to make things like batched soups for all of the Blue Moose restaurants to help with consistency, in addition to using the space as a larger catering kitchen.
“When we had a chance to hire the best catering team in the business, we jumped at it,” KC Hopps president Ed Nelson said in a statement. “Todd and Andrea are a perfect fit for the high standards we incorporate into every aspect of our business model.”
In addition to their catering division, KC Hopps also owns and operates Blue Moose, Barley's Kitchen + Tap, O'Dowd's Gastrobar and Stroud's.
KC Hopps, KCHopps.com