We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Chandler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, how do you think about risk?
Being a entrepreneur is all about taking calculated risks. It starts with believing in your idea enough to get started. I took that leap over three years ago in 2017 and began the journey of owning my own catering company. The next big risk came about 2 years later when I officially went full time on my business. It was scary, relieving, exciting, and so good for me. I was ready, timing is one part about calculating a risk. There are many day to day risks that come with owing a business. From sourcing, client needs, venues, and so much more, all come with surprises. Being able to make good decisions on the fly, pivot, and commit to your gut are all important qualities that grow with experience, but there is always a risk factor. When I complete a particularly challenging job and have happy clients and guests, I feel proud and ready to take on the next larger thing. Taking risks help you to grow!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As the premier grazing style catering company of California’s central coast, Slate specializes in grazing tables, cheese & charcuterie platters, edible centerpieces, picnics, workshops, & more. We proudly source locally from our bounty of gracious farmers, as well as incorporate local breads, pickles, jams, and so on. It’s an honor to add our touch to your weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, beach picnics, wine tasting platters, and everything in between. We are sustainably minded and locally sourced. Each platter, grazing table, ect are completely unique. Originally from northern California but ‘almost local’ to Santa Barbara after 8 years, I’m honored to serve Santa Barbra through my passion for food and eye for composition. It’s an honor to create customized experiences for events- I love the process from first envisioning your special moments to making them a reality and how good food truly brings people together; I believe that should be a part of all celebrations big or small. I’m especially proud to be expanding and pivoting with the times in a number of ways. The most exciting is the addition of sister brand Crave Tapas, a collaboration with local restaurant owner/cocktail guru, Alvaro Rojas. We now offer full catering options as well as craft bar services in our artful style. The newest addition to the gang, Backyard Bistros is a mobile dining experience that came to us as a reaction to Covid-19. We missed events and gathering in restaurants, so we hatched a contactless way to have a epic dining experience! We took a sprinter van that Alvaro recently built out with beautiful wood paneling and benches and styled it out with plants, vintage furniture, rugs, and turkish pillows. It’s basically a tiny restaurant on wheels! In every package we include a curated cheese & charcuterie platter, house crafted cocktails of your choosing, access to the “Bistro Bodega”: a mini bar with extras for purchase including local beer and wine 2 hours to enjoy the styled out van on Stearn’s Wharf with 360 ocean views or the pre-approved location of the guests’ choosing! We’ve even recently added a mezcal tasting experience option with a private bartender!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Santa Barbara is full of amazing wineries, we would definitely carve out time to hit the funk zone, and the Santa Ynez Valley for tastings. As well as visit Ian at Cutler’s Distillery to taste spirits made right in the heart of the town. We should cool down with a beer at M. Special too! Butterfly Beach in Montecito is a must for a sunset beach walk. Food being my thing, we would be sure to hit the favorites: milk & honey tapas, The Black Sheep, and BibiJi.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Both of my parents and many others on both sides of the family are serial entrepreneurs. It takes a certain level of crazy and unmatched love for the work that makes a business owner successful. I definitely inherited that. You have to wear a lot of hats, I had great examples of that growing up. I have also found incredibly inspiring friends that have their own businesses too and have leaned on them greatly, especially to get started. Now getting to collaborate, bounce ideas off each other, and overall support each other are what propels me forward into the next thing with confidence. I am very grateful for my community and proud to be apart of it!
Cocktail photo: Silas Fallstich