In January 2020, Rich Levy launched Butter & Vine, a full-service catering and events company. Eight weeks later, the pandemic hit, bringing events to a standstill. “[It] was the perfect time in the history of the world to start a catering and events business,” Rich said with a dose of honeyed sarcasm.
The circumstances were far from ideal, but Rich quickly pivoted Butter & Vine into a meal delivery service to survive the pandemic. Today, with the resurgence of large social gatherings, Butter & Vine has returned to its original mission, thriving as a premier catering service for weddings, corporate events, fundraisers, and more throughout Chicagoland.
In addition to the obstacles the pandemic posed, Rich has faced other challenges as a small business owner including struggles with cash flow and equipment failure. In 2023, Rich received a small business loan from A4CB. This loan gave him the working capital he needed to purchase catering delivery trucks and make the move into a larger kitchen on the West Side.
“We got lucky and found an incredible kitchen that is perfect for our needs,” Rich said. “It helps that we are in the shadow of the United Center and are reminded daily of what winning can happen when a great team is put together.”
Currently, Rich employs a team of 12 full-time staff and hires up to 75 temporary staff for events. This team and the company culture is what Rich believes sets Butter & Vine apart. “We are a team of people that has been working together in the industry for over 20 years,” said Rich. “Hiring us is to hire the best in the city.”
As Butter & Vine continues to thrive, Rich’s aspirations stay focused on consistently delivering best in class catering services. Looking forward, Rich hopes to expand to also own and operate a venue in Chicago.