TOTAL TEAM EFFORT: For the past 30 years, Butler’s Pantry has been involved with one of our city’s most cherished events. Founded in 1976, The Great Forest Park Balloon Race has relied on our company to help produce this World Class Two-Day Event. This fun, free family tradition, hosted every third Friday and Saturday in September, has been enjoyed by Generations of St. Louisans. Our involvement began many years ago with my father organizing concessions at the festival and now has evolved into our squad providing catering services to more than 20 corporations and VIP experiences to thousands. Every department within our company dedicates so much time and energy into this, making this feat a total team effort and in my eyes: a monumental success!
Let’s begin with Sales: their work begins months prior developing menus and layouts for the thousands of guests who will be enjoying our cuisine and hospitality services. Jeanne & Bridget lead the charge, and each member of their team either supports them or is engaged with producing these events. A special tip of the cap to Jessica, Amie, Coleen, Ciara, Chelsea & Paton.
Once the details have been planned it’s up to the Operations Department to review logistics and ultimately coordinate delivery of thousands of chairs, hundreds of tables and lots of support equipment. As they say, “many hands makes light work” and this is exhibited by JZ, William, Bill, Roger, Steve, Darin, Richard, Pedro, Dan, Matt and so many others in the organizing, packing, cleaning, loading, setting and unloading of all of these rentals.
Beyond the necessary rentals, décor is always a trademark of Butler’s Pantry. This includes the creative work of our Design Studio. From color choices on linens, to subtle nuances of mums, to the bold ribbon walls, we are never let down by Becky, Julie, Vincent, Nico and the BPDS crew.
Cuisine and Beverages keep the patrons fed, hydrated and happy. With Swiss-like accuracy, Greg, Vince, Chad, Natalie, Amanda, Jerry, Jen, Dave, Meecho, Anthoine and so many other talented, dedicated culinary team members curate a vast assortment of menu items that each require the careful preparation of individual ingredients/components. Even with care given to artful presentation on every dish, this team truly has the process down to a science!
To round out this team effort: you have to include our accounting team, marketing team & of course, our service team. Without Jordan, Kelly and Ricky, we could lose sight of something very important: COLLECTING THE CASH! They also ensure everyone gets paid! Maggie and Lauren work both behind the scenes, helping to promote the event, as well as on the front lines with support from Caroline, delivering riveting social media and remarkable customer service. Finally, Hannah, Amber and Tim have done an amazing job skillfully filling the hundreds of catering positions for the GREAT Forest Park Balloon Race in addition to the other catering jobs on the books (at Palladium Saint Louis, The Coronado and this year at the Library!). Another special tip of the cap to some of the dedicated families who have been apart of GFPBR for more than a decade: the Wirtels, Hammels, Wackers, Thomas/Moore/Cole family, Zingrichs, Allens, Eversgerd/Schaefer family, Shells and Tate/Crawford family.
A sure sign of Success is being invited back! I would say a track record of 30 plus years of developing one of the Nation’s top Balloon Glows and Races is testament to our focus, dedication and commitment to Team and Clients. I applaud you. I thank you. I couldn’t do it without you.
Up, Up and Away!
-Richard Nix Jr., President of Butler’s Pantry
Guest Appreciation Notes
“As a pilot, this event is my absolute favorite by far! Always a great time! Can’t wait til next year!”
“My husband and I enjoyed taking our children, our grandchildren and friends of all ages to The Great Forest Park Balloon Races. It is something we all look forward to each year.
It is an amazing family event, thank you for having it. And thank you for keeping it family friendly!”
“I have been coming since I was a child, with my parents. Now my husband and I pass this onto our four daughters. We give it 5-stars because we have a blast and continue to come back every year!”
Photos by Lauren Helmer