City Social Magazine

SEP-OCT 2017

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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When asked what makes them different, staff at Forrest Grove Plantation have a single (and simple) answer: "we think what makes us unique from other local venues is the fact that we're family-owned and operated." A father-mother-daughter team respectively own the building, do the catering in-house and manage the financials and coordinate weddings that take place at Forrest Grove Plantation. Additionally, mother and daughter Diane Adams and Shelley Fontenot share the responsibility (and joy) of meeting with brides both before, on and after the big day when assisting with wedding events! "When a bride comes in to tour our facility," says Shelley, "we are with them through the planning stages until the moment their reception ends." Her pride stems from their refusal to outsource any of their services. This is especially true when it comes to food prepared or served at weddings, family functions, corporate events or other happenings that they host at Forrest Grove Plantation! Referring to their signature and most sought-after dishes, including but not limited to shrimp fettuccine, boudin balls, catfish strips, cheese-stuffed ravioli and crabmeat mornay served in pastry shells, Shelley and other staff are at once proud and humbled by the many compliments they receive in-person and in just about every review they're mentioned in. One of the biggest highlight for chefs and servers at Forrest Grove Plantation is to have guests telephone after an event and ask if their food is available for delivery. Regrettably, the delectable dishes they make aren't offered to-go (something the staff would love to change someday). Speaking of her parents' love of all-things-food, Shelley waxes nostalgic about how they'd go to great lengths to provide for family and friends whenever an event needed catering—including her own wedding and that of her brothers. "They didn't want to entrust the food to anyone else!" she reports. In fact, it was their love of cuisine and catering that first led to their joining ranks at Forrest Grove Plantation. While attending the wedding of a friend's daughter, Greg and Diane were struck by the idea to start their own catering business/reception hall. From there, their musings moved quickly to a business plan in which R E A D U S O N L I N E A T W W W . C I T Y S O C I A L . C O M 24 By Alexis Marie Egan Keeping it in the Family at Forrest Grove Plantation they and another couple would co-own/co-manage a venue ideal for weddings and other events requiring catering. In almost no time, Forrest Grove Plantation opened its doors in April of 2001. Four years later, Shelley's parents were able to buy out their business partners and, shortly thereafter, hired Shelley to coordinate weddings and manage the business aspect of the venue. Since then, their family has expanded to include not only other family members, but to include extended relatives and employees-turned- family, all of whom help Forrest Grove Planation thrive. Yet being so family-oriented is only a small part of what makes the venue so unique. Along with offering unparalleled dishes and being a family business through and through, it is the staff's commitment to listening, listening and listening that makes them a notch above the rest. Equally distinctive is how Forrest Grove Plantation pays critical attention not only to how to please, but genuinely enjoys catering to each and every client's need, no matter whether it pertains to the perfect wedding, business function or smaller, intimate gatherings. "We love our clients and it gives us great satisfaction to please," Shelley declares, smiling. Forrest Grove Plantation Photo by Courtney Browning Photo by Meadowlark Photography

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