July 9, 2024

Culinary Crafts Is One of Utah’s 100 Companies Championing Women


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Recently, we were pleased to learn that Culinary Crafts has been selected as one of Utah’s 100 Companies Championing Women.

This honor was given by Gov. Spencer J. Cox, the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, and the Utah Women & Leadership Project as part of an initiative supporting women in the workplace.

In their notification letter, the Governor’s Office complimented Culinary Crafts for the company’s “diversity in leadership roles, pay equality efforts, flexible work schedules, mentorship and professional development programs for women, and family leave policies.”

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Championing Women Leaders

Ever since Mary Crafts founded the company 40 years ago, Culinary Crafts has benefited from strong female leadership and relied on the talents, ingenuity, and tenacity of women. Currently, three of our six departments are led by female Directors. Our Head Baker and the Manager of our Kimball Terrace venue are also women.

Female leadership and insight give Culinary Crafts a huge edge in the hospitality industry. “I love that we have a pretty good mix in our team," explains co-owner Kaleb Crafts. "Women and men, old and young, experienced and newcomers. Our diversity gives us a constant flow of fresh ideas and perspectives. But diversity on its own doesn’t make a team stronger. You have to have a company culture where people know it’s safe to speak their minds and share their ideas…. The women on our team help make that a reality.”

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Championing Women in the Workplace

Like most jobs in hospitality, the catering field is notorious for its high rates of employee turnover. Attracting and keeping talented women on the team has been a high priority for us. Culinary Crafts is proud to have one of the lowest turnover rates in the business. Over 60 percent of our company, including most of the managers on our Events Team, are women.

“We are so lucky to have the talents and perspectives that women bring to our team,” says Meagan Crafts-Price, Director of Marketing. “Catering is an incredibly demanding industry. You have to have people who are flexible, personable, attentive, extremely organized, incredibly creative, and who work together seamlessly as a team…all while remaining calm under ridiculous pressure. And smiling.”

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A Female-Friendly Company

One reason that our team attracts so many women is wage equality. Culinary Crafts’ compensation is among the highest in Utah’s catering industry, and, company-wide, women are paid just as much as men working in the same position. They also benefit from regular salary raises based on how long they have worked at the company.

A second reason female team members stay with Culinary Crafts is the flexible hours. Team members choose which events they want to work, which means that women can adjust their own workload as needed. Some have even chosen to step away from work entirely for months or years at a time. “A lot of our team will work for a while, take time off for their families, and come back to work when they choose,” explains co-owner Ryan Crafts. “We want to support their career and life choices, wherever that takes them.”

Paid maternal and paternal leave (rare in the hospitality field) are a third way Culinary Crafts is championing women by creating a female-friendly workplace. We want to support women in their childbearing/rearing choices because their physical, mental, and emotional health is of vital importance.

These family-friendly policies have a hidden benefit for the company. “A lot of our team is made up of moms, and thank goodness!” Ryan explains. “The way they can juggle multiple tasks at once, react to constantly changing situations, dive in and do the dirty work when needed, and make every clients feel special and taken care of, that takes a level of grace and know-how that comes from being a parent.”

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Mentorship and Development

Culinary Crafts invests a lot to train and develop our team members because we want to see them successful, healthy, and happy in their work and in their family life. We hold regular paid training meetings to help all our team members continue to grow and learn, and we meet semiannually for personal interviews with team members to find out how we can support their goals and dreams.

We are always looking for opportunities to prepare and promote female team members who are ready to take on greater responsibilities. Sometimes that looks like one-on-one mentoring on the job. Other times it takes the form of culinary arts scholarships that the company has endowed. We also encourage our team members to expand their knowledge and skills by attending professional conferences and workshops. Recently, Culinary Crafts paid several team members to attend the International Caterers Association conference in Austin, Texas. At that conference, our Director of Staff Development and Head Chef (both women) accepted the Catie Award for “Best Catered Event of the Year.” Also, at that event, our founder Mary was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Feels Like Family

Part of the reason that the team at Culinary Crafts feels like family is that, in many cases, it literally is. Sometimes you’ll see two or even three generations of family members working the same event. But even if you don’t have relatives working here, there’s a familial feeling that pervades this place. The company hosts regular team-building events like bowling nights, barbeques, physical fitness challenges, and parties like renting Dave and Busters for a night. Our kitchen makes daily lunches for the team to enjoy together. (And with award-winning chefs in our kitchen, you can bet that those lunches are pretty great!)

There’s a genuine feeling of camaraderie and family among our team, and that dynamic greatly affects the quality of service we give and the level of care our clients experience. The women on our team have an awful lot to do with building that warm, welcoming work environment at Culinary Crafts.

27x winner Utah’s Best of State

24x Best of State Caterer

3x Best of the Best / Hospitality

1x Entrepreneur of the Year