Juanita Ware Coleman believes that great food shouldn’t break the bank.
At the same time, she recognizes that quality is key when it comes to cuisine; after all, each customer expects a top-shelf dish no matter the cost.
Coleman’s goal was to marry affordability with tasty, home-cooked meals, leading her to co-found J & J A Taste of Home Catering. The catering service also has a food truck offering many of the same meals that is scheduled to appear at this year’s Statehouse Market.
Q: J & J A Taste of Home Catering strives to offer home-style meals at affordable prices. The menu includes breakfast, appetizers and several desserts. What are a few of your favorites to prepare and why?
A: My favorite thing to prepare is anything with the recipe. I love doing other ethnic groups’ recipes.
Q: Juanita Ware Coleman earned her degree in dietary management from Ivy Tech, which later led her to open A Taste of Home. With a lifelong love of cooking behind you, how did it feel to finally have a culinary business of your own? What has been the best part and what are some challenges you’ve faced?
A: It felt really good to be able to start my own business with the help of my husband.
The best part about owning your own business is just that — it’s your business. You work hard for yourself. The challenges with owning your own business are that most people want you to water down your prices or they won’t let you know in advance that their budget is small. We work with all sizes of budgets.
Q: You learned a lot of your craft by helping your mother and grandmother in the kitchen at a young age. What is some advice they gave you that you use today in your business?
A: If it doesn’t smell good, then it probably doesn’t taste good, and don’t feed anyone something you won’t eat!
Q: J & J A Taste of Home Catering Service is appearing at the Statehouse Market for the first time in summer 2018. What are you most looking forward to about your market visits?
A: I’m looking forward to interacting with the people and giving them A Taste of Home’s food.
Q: Does A Taste of Home have any signature menu items? What are a few choices that customers return to again and again?
A: I guess you could say, on our food truck, our signature items are our jerk chicken, steak tacos and jerk loaded fries. As far as catering goes, the fried chicken is always a repeat.