FOR BRIAN STRANGE, the complexities of running one of Texas’ most recognized catering companies comes down to one simple motto. "We help people celebrate. That’s what we do," says Strange, CEO of Don Strange of Texas Inc., a third-generation family-run business.
The company was founded in 1952 by Joe Strange, and operated by second-generation owner Don Strange until his death in 2009. Under Don’s tutelage, the company served notable customers like chef James Beard, hosted parties at the White House and became the caterer of choice for celebrities and locals alike. As his father’s successor, Brian Strange has elevated the company’s award-winning cuisine, expanded its service lines and added exclusive venue management.
"I officially started in August 1989, but I essentially grew up in the business," Strange says, with the exception of a post-college foray into sports marketing. "I decided pretty quickly [sports marketing] wasn’t nearly as fun as I thought it was going to be. But I took what I learned back to the family business."
Today, Strange is banking on a strong demand for wedding catering and, as corporate budgets bounce back, is prepared for a breakout year.
"Celebrating means something different for everyone," says Strange. "We’re an outsidein company, which means we do what the customer wants. We could literally do the same event for two different clients and have two different outcomes because their needs and wants are so different. One thing that never changes, though, is knowing it’s our job to make planners look good."