Lorraine Rice has been in the food industry since she was 17, and her partner Bernardo Rodriguez has worked numerous angles of customer service.
Lorraine was managing the kitchen at the Seal Beach Country Inn & Gardens when, at the request of a coworker, she started dabbling in catering, working both jobs until ultimately jumping full time into catering.
Bernardo, after working as dining room manager for restaurants in Sonora and Michoacán in Mexico, one of which he opened with his brother to offer international cuisine, moved to Arizona, working in convention services for Wigwam Resort, managing the kitchen at Royal Palms Resort and Spa, and dealing poker at Harrah’s Casino. In 2000, he relocated to California, where he went to work for Lorraine before eventually becoming her partner in business and in private life.
Their experiences culminate in a company that goes beyond what many expect from a catering business.
“A lot of my clients have now become my friends,” Lorraine said. “I’m very flexible. If they don’t want to work off our menus, that’s fine. We will customize menus for them. In fact, when we do the Signal Hill Chamber lunches, we have some gluten-intolerant people there, and we try and make sure there are meals there that the gluten-intolerant can eat.”
Lorraine’s introduction to this nutritional disorder occurred when a coworker had Celiac disease, the autoimmune disorder that makes gluten intolerable, and gave Lorraine a book about the condition. As a result, Bernardo and Lorraine are trying to learn more about it and other restrictive diets to let that education inform their cooking. Triple R makes it easy for clients by asking upfront if they or someone in their family or company has any food allergies or dietary restrictions.
Aside from being mindful of special diets, Triple R uses fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as customizing menus to match the seasons, such as serving cool foods in summer. Often requested is their cold kabobs, which are colorful taste treats featuring chunk meats and cheeses.
Bernardo said going the extra mile and being mindful of special dietary needs helps them develop human relations. “And that’s working for us,” he said.
It’s worked for them so much, in fact, that they secured the gig of providing food service at the Friends of Signal Hill Cultural Arts Summer Concert Series. “I love her professionalism and dedication,” said Sue Hughes, Community Services Supervisor for Signal Hill.
Lorraine said the scope of their business reaches beyond the food preparation into areas such as arranging entertainment, procuring bartenders, ordering flowers, and hiring deejays and parking valets. “Whatever they want. The thing that I think is very important in catering is to get the point across to the client that you are there to cater to whatever they do not want to do, whether that is the service aspect of it or if it’s some other items of food. We’ll bring or do whatever they don’t want to do.”
Triple R Catering can be reached at (562) 252-5934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quoting their slogan, Lorraine says, “If you can’t think of a reason to celebrate, ask us.”