When Rob Goyena was growing up, he’d visit his parents while they ran the family business, Catering by Uptown. “The chefs would give me rocky-road brownies—I was hooked!” says Goyena, who’s now vice president of the company. “At age 12, I started working on entering the food orders into the computer, and then I worked in the kitchen and as a waiter, and I eventually started consulting on, planning, and running events.”
Catering by Uptown has been a family-owned business for more than three decades. In that time, it has served six presidents, members of Congress, a variety of embassies, and the Supreme Court, just to name a few. And weddings? Oh, yes—it knows weddings, too. In 30 years, it’s catered more than 10,000 of them.
The company offers on-premise wedding catering services at its two company-owned facilities—the Villa and Celebrations at the Bay—as well as off-premise catering at more than 100 locations in the area. But the services don’t stop with cuisine, Goyena says. Catering by Uptown offers wedding coordination, which includes everything from vendor referrals to decor and rehearsals.
When brides- and grooms-to-be come in for their initial consultation, the first questions are usually about how much planning the wedding of their dreams will cost. That’s a difficult question at the beginning of the process, Goyena says: “We cater weddings that are less than $10,000 and some that are more than $100,000. While most fall somewhere in the middle, the journey to find the exact cost of the wedding takes a little time. After the first visit, we can understand all of their hopes and dreams as well as the realities of calendars, guest lists, and checkbooks.”
Lucky for us, Goyena has agreed to swing by The Washingtonian on Thursday for a live chat. We know you’ve got questions—about catering and every other aspect of planning—so don’t be shy! Submit questions now and Goyena will answer them from 11 AM to noon on Thursday.