June 2018 Wrap Up

The weather isn’t the only thing that was heating up in June. The chefs at Jonathan Byrd’s and 502 East have been working non-stop to make decadent food for a slew of events we catered throughout the month. We’ve had so many weddings, graduation celebrations, and conferences to make food for that it might be cooler outside than it is in our kitchen. Keep reading to see all the awesome events we’ve been a part of in June!

Indiana Electric Cooperatives – Your Tour Trip to Washington DC

502 East Event Centre played bus stop for 100 high school students before they boarded for a trip to Washington D.C. The kids and their families gathered at 502 East to get the lowdown about the trip and meet the chaperones. This mix of boys and girls were high school sophomores and juniors from all over Indiana that applied through the Indiana Electric Co-Operatives Board to meet their local political representatives in Washington D.C. The educational week and concluded with a detour to Pennsylvania to see the Flight 93 memorial and Gettysburg.

For more information about the Youth Tour, visit: https://www.electric.coop/our-organization/youth-programs/about-the-youth-tour/

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Partner Spotlight: Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel

Are you visiting 502 East Event Centre for a conference or event and want to stay somewhere close? 502 East Event Centre is in Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis and a frequent winner of best places to live in America. Frequently, 502 East Event Centre hosts conferences for companies and groups that expand all over the state, the Midwest, and even the country. When traveling, convenience is key. That’s why 502 East Event Centre and Jonathan Byrd’s Catering often recommend the Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel as a nearby hotel that provides easy access to 502 East Event Centre and Downtown Indianapolis.

Since the creation of “Holiday Inn Express”, many people associate Holiday Inn as a place for the frequent traveler to rest their head between flights. But not every Holiday Inn is a “Holiday Inn Express,” and the Holiday Inn Indianapolis Carmel provides so much more than a bed to sleep in.

King Bed-Coffee

Sleep In All Day In One of the New Beds

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Partner Venue Spotlight: The Forum Conference & Events Center

If you find yourself driving behind Ikea in Fishers, you may find a very large glass building labelled “Forum Conference and Event Center.” You might think it’s offices for the credit union or maybe an auditorium for employees, but it’s so much more than either of those things.


The Forum Conference and Events Center

The Forum Conference and Event Center is a crisp modern venue with lots of versatile space and high-tech features. The building was built in 2003 in stages, with the Conference and Event Center added last. The building houses the headquarters for the Forum Credit Union, and leases office space for other businesses. The entire building is immaculate and has a chrome and marble finish.

The space is so clean and contemporary that it feels like a blank canvas. The polished look works great with both a modern wedding and a corporate gathering. The diverse space can be divided in many ways and can be rearranged so quickly that guests will be amazed that they’re stepping back into the same room.

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May 2018 Wrap Up

Indianapolis in May is the busiest time of the year for many companies, and Jonathan Byrd’s is no exception. We’ve been hustling this month creating unique events and food for parties around Indianapolis and at 502 East Event Centre. Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Team was also busy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway gearing up for the 102nd running of the Indy 500. Below are some of the fun events we were honored to be a part of in the month of May.

Super Hero Super Party at 416 Wabash

Jonathan Byrd’s Executive Chef Brett Lewis doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that keeps up with the latest superhero blockbusters, but he was all in for creating a menu that incorporated everyone’s favorite characters. Some of the menu items that we brought to this corporate party included “Spring Chicken Scallopini (Pounded out with Thor’s Hammer),” “Wolverine Carved Pastrami Spiced Brisket” and “Multi-Grain and Gamora Pilaf,” to name a few.

The Black Panther dessert station was a hit with the crowd. It included sugar cookies printed with pictures of superheroes, various fruit tarts, brownies, and three flavors of gelato.

Photos courtesy of Kristin Hornberger Photography

416 Wabash and Evans Audio-Visual went all out decorating with blacklights, neon signs, and superhero dancers.

Photos courtesy of Kristin Hornberger Photography

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Cooking Like A Caterer: Spring Time Aspragus Tofu Salad

Spring Time Asparagus Tofu Salad

Spring has sprung in central Indiana, and we’re celebrating by cooking a signature spring dish with our favorite spring vegetable: asparagus!

This dish may look complicated and fancy, but Chef Garde Manger Kelly Retherford shows how this impressive looking dish can be made by anyone who wants to show off with some exotic ingredients for some fresh spring flavor.

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Jonathan Byrd’s Lends A Helping Hand At Second Helpings

Since our days in Greenwood, Jonathan Byrd’s has always been a big proponent in being involved in the local community through service. Although our business has changed from our original roots, our bond with the Indianapolis community is strong and we want to be involved as much as we can.

For over 13 years, Jonathan Byrd’s has donated excess food to Second Helpings, Indianapolis’ local food rescue. A food rescue is different from a food pantry or a soup kitchen because a food rescue takes in prepared food or older produce from grocery stores, hotels, caterers, and food supply companies and makes new meals with that food, which is then distributed to over 85 social service agencies across Indianapolis. Second Helpings feeds people in shelters, day cares, community centers, and other programs that feed hungry people but don’t have budgets to pay for food. Second Helpings relies on over 700 active volunteers to help collect, sort, prepare, create, and distribute over 4000 meals a day, which adds up to over 1 million meals a year!

When you choose Jonathan Byrd’s to cater your event, you can rest assured that your leftover food will not go to waste. Second Helpings picks up food at 502 East Event Centre on a regular basis. In fact, Jonathan Byrd’s is one of Second Helping’s biggest donators of prepared food. In 2017 alone, we donated 11,741 pounds of food!


second helpins

Volunteers from Jonathan Byrd’s at Second Helpings

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Cooking like a Caterer: Country Style Pork Ribs with Late Harvest Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic and Fresh Tarragon

Country Style Pork Ribs with Late Harvest Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic and Fresh Tarragon

Have you ever braised pork before? What about deglazing a pan with Apple Cider Vinegar? Our Chefs at Jonathan Byrd’s Catering have, and they want to share the steps with you! They’ve created a delicious new winter dish that will warm your bones on the coldest of days. Great for feeding a crowd or a few family members.


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Jonathan Byrd’s Debuts 2018 Menus

New Year – New Menus. Our team is excited to introduce out new menu options for 2018 and we’ve updated our menus to include more selections that appeal to our client’s requests. We hope that when you see our new options, you’ll be so happy you chose Jonathan Byrd’s to cater your event!

Late Night Snacks

What’s New for our Brides and Grooms that choose to get married at 502 East Event Centre? Late Night Snacks! Busting moves on the dance floor is hard work; exercise can be fun with the right party. But when the dinner is done, and the cake has been cut, is there nothing left to do but dance and drink? Not anymore!


“Let’s Get Popin'” Late Night Snack

We’re now offering Late Night Snacks on our Wedding Menu for couples that have their reception at 502 East Event Centre. Whether you’re a fan of sweet or savory, we have what you need to keep the party energized. Our “Garden Harvest” snack station has fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt dip, and zucchini bread. The “Let’s Get Poppin’” snack station has a variety of cheese, caramel, and butter popcorn with fun toppings for an added boost. The “Ice Cream Break” will help cool off your guests with a refreshing dessert. We bring our cart either full of novelties or we’ll provide an attendant to scoop ice cream for you. If you choose the scooped ice cream, you can count on us to bring toppings, so everyone can customize their own sundaes.

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2018 Wedding Trends That We Love

The end of the year is the most popular time of year for couples to get engaged. What a great way to start a new year with a new goal of creating an awesome celebration! Planning a giant party is no easy task whether your timeline is 2 months or 2 years – there are hundreds of tiny details to handle to make your big day the best day ever!

Our Wedding Specialists, Amanda Wood and Taylor Leavell, have some recommendations when it comes to the top wedding trends for 2018!


When you begin the wedding planning process, a good way to start is to pick a color scheme that you can incorporate into the decorations and attire. The Pantone color of 2018 is ultra-violet. This dark purple color will absolutely POP in floral arrangements and groomsmen ties.


The Wedding Playbook

Mauve, Rose Gold, Blush, and Berry are all trending colors in the purple spectrum. All three pair well with gray and white. Steel gray and navy continue to be the neutrals of choice.

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Partner Spotlight: Brickhouse Coffee Co.

If you’ve driven by the old Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, you may have noticed a new sign on the left side of the building. The Brickhouse Coffee Company opened in August, and we at Jonathan Byrd’s have established a partnership that we hope will encourage their growth in the future.

roastery door 2

Interior Door to the Brickhouse Coffee Co.

The Brickhouse Coffee Company has a very distinct look to it. This is not a chain coffee shop or a designer storefront selling high priced drip coffee sourced from who-knows-where. As soon as you open the door, the aroma of freshly roasted coffee wraps around you like a warm blanket, and you’ll know this is the real deal.

The main appeal of The Brickhouse Coffee Company is that they roast their own coffee right in-house and sell the beans to customers in-store and online. Burlap Coffee bags hang proudly from the ceiling like banners in a sports bar.  The décor is what the Stayton’s call a vintage industrial; complimenting the warmth of the coffee shop. There are many tables and cozy spaces for customers to sit, gather, or study.

brickhouse int

In-House Roasted Coffee Beans are For Sale in Store and Online

The story of how the Brickhouse Coffee Company came to be is an interesting tale, but you should hear it first hand from the owners Jared and Lora Stayton. They will probably be standing behind the counter crafting coffee beverages for customers with their spindling barista daughters. When I had the pleasure of meeting them, Lora was hanging holiday decorations, and Jared was packing up supplies to head to a swim meet with their mobile barista service. And despite the work they had in front of them, they both took the time to shake my hand and tell me their story.

The Staytons were missionaries in Southern Spain where they learned first hand the need for financial sustainability for missions work. The community center in the church they were working at asked them to help manage the fitness center and continue development for the vision to have a coffee shop. The Staytons had fitness management backgrounds, but were clueless when it came to coffee. So, before leaving for Spain, Jared Stayton went back to school, Barista School that is; and learned all the ins and outs of coffee and educated himself on what it takes to make the perfect cup of joe. After living and serving in Malaga, Spain for almost a year and a half, the Stayton’s were forced to leave to change their visas from missionary status to business in order to continue with their new vision: using business to sustain them on the mission field.

Upon arriving back in the states, the Stayton’s home church, Horizon Christian Fellowship, learned of this business as mission idea and supported their endeavor by allowing the Staytons to use the old brick house on the church’s property as a roastery and helping them kickstart this vision. Brickhouse Coffee was born and soon, churches all over the area were being supplied coffee for their services as well as other business, coffee shops and organizations.

It wasn’t until earlier this year that the Staytons stumbled into the old Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, and fell in love with the space.  It was bigger than they imagined, but it had enough space for their coffee roaster, which sits in the back corner in front of a brick wall signifying their humble beginnings in the old brick house.


The Lattes Taste Even Better Than They Look!

All the food that is served at Brickhouse is locally sourced from nearby bakeries with locally sourced ingredients. They feature a special Quiche that is potato based and is grain-free and gluten-free, “And that’s very important to me,” said Lora Stayton, owner and self-proclaimed “Caffeine Queen.” Besides quiche, Brickhouse Coffee has other baked goods and sandwiches for customers to eat with their crafted beverages. For those craving some food from Jonathan Byrd’s – Brickhouse serves Jonathan Byrd’s Famous Chicken Salad Sandwiches. Jonathan Byrd’s also prepares pork for the Brickhouse that is marinated, rubbed, and sauced with espresso.  On Saturdays, the Brickhouse clears its large counter and lays out all the ingredients for an omelette bar from 8am-1pm for $7.50. Coffee on the go is also available with their new drive-thru window.

If you’re a coffee connoisseur or a regular roast rookie, give Brickhouse Coffee a try. The friendly staff will help you with you place your order and suggest ingredients to create the perfect cup. We at Jonathan Byrd’s are excited to see this local family-owned business grow, and we hope it’ll become the newest gem in Greenwood.

For more information about Brickhouse Coffee Company, visit their website.



Partner Venue Spotlight: The Nest

When Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria Closed in 2015, our loyal customers were sad to see the end of an era. The Cafeteria holds a special place in the Greenwood Community’s heart, and we know everyone was very nervous to see what would take its place.  We are very excited to give you a sneak peek of something new and exciting going into the former cafeteria, and we’re proud to say that Jonathan Byrd’s will contribute to some of their events in the future.

old jb

The Former Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria in Greenwood

The building has been renovated into office spaces, and includes the new Brickhouse Coffee Company. The Banquet Rooms have also been completely renovated and recreated into a new event center. The Nest Event Center is independently owned and operated by Kristee Anderson. She has created a completely new and stylish space that will bring elegance and class to any event.

If you meet Anderson in her office, you will be transported into a picture from a home décor magazine. The black, white, gray, and rose-pink theme is a muted palette that is perfect for inspiring romance. No detail is spared throughout the office or the event center. Even Anderson holds a pink pen that matches the pink vases on the table perfectly. “Country Chic” is how she describes the new look, something many people will recognize while browsing wedding ideas on Pinterest.

When you walk into the foyer, the entire room is white, including the large fireplace and grand piano. The mantle, armoire, and large beams on the ceiling provide dark accents.  The room is so clean and white you’re almost afraid to leave a scratch or a footprint on the floor. The space is ideal for a cocktail hour or break-out room for appetizers or snacks. Rustic chandeliers finish off the country look. The dark barn doors slide to reveal a small conference room complete with a large rustic table with elegant legs that create a polished meeting space for a small group.


The Foyer of The Nest

The former banquet room has now been updated for the 21st Century. Floor to ceiling doors on one wall fills the room with natural light. The ceiling is covered with black tiles, and decorative mix-matched plaster white tiles are speckled throughout, completing the bold look.  The wall opposite the doors, at first, appears gray and stagnant, but with the flip of a switch, the wall comes to life with a beautiful interactive scene. This Environmental Wall is a fun feature that really sets “The Nest” apart from other event spaces.  The wall has three adjacent sections that can project anything from natural scenescapes, logos, lyrics, or the big game.  The large banquet hall can be broken into 5 rooms and can fit up to 550 people banquet style or up to 700 lecture style


The Environmental Wall Displays The Big Game

The Nest also features an indoor ceremony space. A repurposed alter stands at the front of the room, and rows of pews are going to be installed. Faux windows line the walls, making you feel like you’re in an actual chapel. This is a great option for those who want to do an intimate ceremony and then a large reception.  Anderson says in the Spring they will begin work on a gazebo for an outdoor ceremony option.

“We are ecstatic, thrilled, thankful, gracious, excited and proud,” Anderson gushed. Anderson had been the go-to party planner at her church for showers and conferences, but when she saw the opportunity to be an event planner in a space of her own, she jumped at the chance. Anderson is incredibly proud of the work done for The Nest, as it was a triumph for her and her family. Her husband is a musician and the grand piano in the foyer for him or any other pianist to play.  Her eldest daughter is studying to be an accountant and helped sort out the financials. Anderson’s son is nicknamed “The Muscle,” as she’s called on him many times to rearrange furniture and decorations. Her middle daughter has made all the promotional items, social media, and logos.  The Nest logo is encircled with thin lines, resembling a nest – a homage to the Byrd’s before them.

So far, The Nest has had a few conferences and has started booking holiday parties for December. While she is excited for new business, Anderson admits that she is overwhelmed with the reception she’s had so far. The Nest is not limited to weddings. They are willing to host any event that fits their space, including showers, board meetings, craft fairs, conferences, and anything in between.


The Newly Remodeled Event Center

Jonathan Byrd’s Catering is one of the preferred vendors on The Nest’s long list of local businesses that can be called upon to make any event spectacular in any price range. That’s one of the reasons Anderson believe that their business has been booming before their grand opening. “We’re a newly renovated space that’s not outrageously overpriced, and I think that’s getting the attention of a lot of young couples,” Anderson said.

If you are interested in seeing the upgrades to the old cafeteria or are looking for a new venue for your upcoming event, The Nest Grand Opening is Thursday, November 30th from 6-9pm.

For more information, visit their website or their facebook page






Great Games to play at your Holiday Party

With the Holidays fast approaching, your team may be given the arduous task of planning a party for all your co-workers. Holiday or End of the Year Parties can sometimes be lots of fun or a complete flop. Whether your party is here at 502 East Event Center, or in your company break-room, we’ve got some tips and tricks to keep your party fun for everyone!

Gifting Games:

A great way to show appreciation for your team is giving them a small gift. Encouraging gift giving is also a great way to boost morale. If everyone is sick of “Secret Santa,” here are some gift-focused party games that show gratitude for your personnel.


Raffles or Silent Auctions:

If you can provide a few big-ticket items for a raffle or silent auction – your staff will take notice. Gift Cards, Cool Company Swag, and Free Meals are just a items that can get a crowd motivated. Rather than having co-workers shop for one another, encourage employees to buy prizes or gift baskets.

Raffles and Silent Auctions are a great way to not only give to your employees, but also to local charities. Tis the season of giving after all!

Goodness Gracious, Great Ball of Presents:

For this, you will need one big money prize for the core of the ball. Begin wrapping the core with Plastic -Wrap, Crepe Paper, or Gift Wrap cut into strips. As you continue to wrap, add smaller prizes such as candy, lottery tickets, small toys, toiletries, small denomination gift cards, or Cash. Once the ball is full, it’ll probably be bigger and heavier than a basketball

At the party, have everyone stand in a circle and take turns unwrapping layers of paper until someone hits a prize, and then passes the ball to the next person. Keep passing until someone gets the big prize at the core.

This game can be adapted easily for whoever is going to play, and you can make your ball as big or as small as needed based on the number of people playing.

White Elephant:

An Office Christmas Party Classic, this game can please a crowd, especially if they all don’t know each other very well.  Have everyone bring in a wrapped present; the sillier the better. Make sure the number of gifts is equal to the number of people playing. Put all the gifts in a pile and then have one person choose a present and open it so everyone can see what it is. The next person can choose to steal the previously opened gifts or pick a new one from the pile. When someone’s present gets taken, they can either choose from the pile or steal someone else’s gift (but they cannot steal their gift back) until all the presents are gone.

If this game seems a little cliché, feel free to change it up a little. Gift themes can help your shoppers decide. Some variations on the gift could be;  re-gifts, movies, books, ornaments, or handmade gifts only.


More Games:

Maybe money is tight for you and your employees, and buying an extra gift isn’t in the cards right now. Here are some other party games for your employees to play to your company party that will keep wallets tight.

German Chocolate Game:

Not to be confused with German Chocolate Cake, but we promise, this game will be just as yummy.

Have players gather at a table around a pile of chocolate bars with their wrappers on.  To play this game you will also need a winter hat, scarf, mittens, kitchen utensils (pasta spoons, two-tined forks, spatulas, etc.) and a pair of dice.

Players start by rolling the dice and then passing them to the next player until someone rolls doubles.  The player that rolled double must don the winter apparel and attempt to unwrap and consume a piece of chocolate using only the kitchen utensils. While they are dressing and eating, players continue to roll dice. When someone else rolls doubles, whoever is dressed and eating the chocolate must stop and pass the clothing and utensils onto that player. The game ends when all the chocolate is gone.

holiday candy

Costume Relays:

If you have lots of space, this is a great competition to get everyone on their feet. You’ll need props and holiday apparel, the same number of items for each team. Have one person from each team be the designated model that the rest of the team will attempt to dress.  One by one, each person will run to the model and add something to them. When the model has been dressed by everyone – they must run to their team. The first team to have their fully dressed model return is the winner.

This can be a lot of fun and can fit most any theme. Get a bunch of stickers and other wacky items and make the model their own ugly sweater. Antlers, noses, tails can make anyone a reindeer. Top hat with a lab coat and a corncob pipe can fashion someone into a snowman. And of course, make anyone into Santa with a beard, hat, and coat.

christmas costumes


If you have a large staff that can’t all get together, photo contests are a fun way to get everyone to pitch in digitally or on a community bulletin board and get everyone in on the fun.  Contests are also a great way to incorporate a theme. If you want everyone to dress a certain way to match your theme, offer prizes to those who are best fit the theme.

Santa Babies:

If you have a lot of young parents in your office, have everyone send in photos of their children or grandchildren in Christmas costumes or on Santa’s lap. For those without kids, pets dressed up as elves are always good for a laugh as well.

If you’d rather keep it employee-centric, ask employees to see if they can dig through the archives and find old pictures of themselves from Christmases long passed.  Not only can people vote for their favorites, you might have employees try to guess whose childhood picture they’re looking at. Guaranteed for some laughs from the past!

baby and dog

Cookie Contests:

Cookies are a great treat that most everyone loves. Small portions and a wide variety will guarantee that everyone will eat more than just one. Encourage your employees to participate in a Holiday Cookie Bake-Off, and get entire staff to taste test.

Cookie Decorating Contests are another fun activity for individuals or a group.  Provide blank sugar or gingerbread cookies, frosting, sprinkles and candies and see who makes the sweetest treat! Don’t forget to take pictures so everyone has a chance to see each entry.


Clothing Contests:

Ugly holiday sweaters are the new trend sweeping the nation. Ugly sweater parties are great if you have lots of multi-cultural employees. Ugly sweaters don’t necessarily need to be ugly CHRISTMAS sweaters.  Many sports teams, movies, and tv shows have gotten in on the ugly sweater game.  If you have an Ugly Sweater Party, give out prizes to best, funniest, and other categories to make everyone get in on the game.

If you’re looking for a crafty contest, buy some plain sweaters at a second-hand store and get some fun things to stick on them. Tinsel balls, googly eyes, big stickers, and letters are just some of the pieces you can get to start a sweater factory. Have everyone break off into teams and decorate an Ugly Sweater of their own creation.  Have everyone vote for the best sweater and see who wears it best.

If your Holiday Party is combined with a New Year’s Party, or you want your attendees to be more dressed up than a sweater, have a “Merry and Bright” party. The theme being sparkles and bright colors. Sparkles are the new fashion trend for 2018.  Gold and silver are perfect colors for a winter backdrop. I’m sure you’ll be surprised with how bright people will shine!

ugly sweaters

With the Holidays right around the corner, it’s good to start thinking of games and fun early so your Holiday Party isn’t the stale like in years past. 502 East Event Centre has lots of large spaces for all your employees to gather and have fun! If you need food for the party at the office, call us for catering options. We have meats,  sweets, and everything in-between!