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The Party Helpers Make Your Events Run Smooth

By Michael Abelson

Kristin Dickens had an idea more than 40 years ago. A recent graduate of San Jose State she wanted to find a way to make events and parties run as smooth as they could. In the years since she has built up her company, The Party Helpers, into a fulls-service event and party coordination company that handles everything from food to decoration. She answered some questions for Bay Area For Sale about her company and her success.

What first inspired you to open The Party Helpers? How long have you been in business?

This year is the 40th year that The Party Helpers has been in business. The inspiration came while working at a new restaurant and the investors of the restaurant wanted servers in their home for their own events. A few of us helped at these events. I had just graduated from college and was thinking that there must be a need for this kind of staffing so decided to start a business with just staffing. I met with one of my marketing professors at San Jose State to come up with a plan and decided to try it for the summer. There wasn't an internet at that time to market the information so the marketing involved mailing, word of mouth, driving around and putting flyers in mail boxes, contacting family and friends and making phone calls. Orders staring coming in but the clients also wanted food so the food became part of the business with a lot practicing with menus and portions. Eventually it evolved to full service with food, staff, rental, décor and coordinating the entire event. I met with my marketing professor to analyze the results of the sales and marketing and the return on the contacts we were making was very positive so we kept on going.

Your mission is "personal, professional catering." How do you feel you make your events feel more "personal"?

We make our events feel more personal first by listening to the client and designing the event to match their vision or by assisting them with ideas so they can choose items that reflect their personal tastes and those of the guests. We will purchase props and décor items to coordinate with our clients theme. We will adjust menus and incorporate seasonal produce and accents to accommodate the client.

How would you describe the style of food you usually offer on your catering menus?

I would say that The Party Helper's food is California style with seasonal recipes but we have lots of themed menus as well.

Why do you think someone should choose The Party Helpers for their catering and event planning needs?

Clients should choose The Party Helpers because we always strive to make our clients and their guests pleased with their orders and events from sandwiches to sitdown dinners, weddings and corporate events. They are all important and we want the events all to be perfect and we truly appreciate our clients. We are in business because of our clients and our goal is their complete satisfaction.

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