A behind the scenes look at Lavender Blue and Le Finis Restaurant

January 21, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

In the first place, Terry Doel, having studied world culinary arts and Vanessa Kreuzer, who said that she had studied landscaping but that her skills have always been “in sales and people,” decided to open a business together and they called it Lavender Blue Catering. 

“We met in high school and we’ve been friends for 35 years,” said Ms. Kreuzer in a recent telephone interview with the Citizen. “She said, ‘I want to start my own company – do you want to come in with me?’”

As caterers, they do it all for the events they service: “We do staffing and rental of tents, table, chairs, everything necessary – even the venues if they like.”

As much as the business, their early conversations took in, “a vision, what is our role in the community,” commenting, “Each person has a role to contribute small or big – we sat down and talked about what that would be.”

In the part of the community with their community members, the ladies have strived to be the kind of people to see what needs to be done, then “we reached [out] to the people to get what needs to be done, knowing how to put the logistics into play.” 

Said Ms. Kreuzer, “We’re boots on the ground volunteers.”

Right now, Ms. Kreuzer and Doel are feeding the ladies in Family Transition Place because people are in isolation. Taking on the task as a whole, they reach out to the community for donations and they handle it, with the philosophy that everybody has a role to play. 

They are the ones to order the food, move boxes – whatever needs to be done.

The history continues. In 2019, they wanted to have a store front so people could see what it is like to be at a Lavender Blue catered event. The dream of Le Finis is like a mini trip to Europe, a dessert restaurant.

Sadly, as Ms. Kreuzer commented, “I think we’ve been closed more than open but we have been able to keep our desserts going. Once Covid was over, we were dine-in at Christmas. The most challenging thing over Covid is that we are really tired at making changes.” 

Recently, they have brought out more food products, mostly from France to assure the best quality.

They run a chapter of Soup Sisters with Community Living Dufferin (CLD), when things are open. They are the food partners: the only food partner and community member in Canada, along with Lorie Robertshaw.

Here is how that works, “You come and we make the soup and we have the soup and salad for dinner and once the soup is portioned, we send it to FTP and others. We know if there’s an overstock it still goes to another place, so, nothing gets wasted.”

For Christmas at St. Mark’s church, they roast all the turkeys and do the stuffings. Normally, Terry Doel goes early on Dec. 25. People actually come there, for the idea is to share a meal together, particularly for people who might be alone. That is really important.

“We love St. Marks,” Ms. Kreuzer said. “All the churches are doing a great job. We’ve been doing that for about five years and Terry gets in there and makes that happen.”

They create pre-made meals for the food bank. The B-social cafe was doing that, so, we were doing that too.

Simply put, “You roll with whatever needs doing. Our business is catering functions and weddings. We love our weddings and our clients. For Terry, she wants to make sure everyone eats well and for my part, I want to make sure everyone is well served.” 

Ms. Kreuzer enjoys the logistics of a tent wedding and we want the hosts to feel they’re guests too. Every time is different. Like anyone who ever goes there, they love doing the Alton Mill Arts Centre and do the meals at many events there. 

When it comes to an event being hosted by the Mill or any other arts function, Lavender Blue catering always offers the arts events a discount, the not for profits.

As she pointed out, “Those are not the people we’re making money from.”

She went to praise volunteers, saying how lucky the community of Dufferin is because of the wonderful plethora of volunteers. The dads at soccer – moms at dance. So many volunteers help at the Orangeville Blues and Jazz festival, mentioning also even TeleCheck: a person calls an elderly person and just talks to them. All volunteers.

Our ambition is to make it through Covid,” was her straight-forward response to our query. “Right now, it truly is to keep going – making it through. The 2021 wedding season is busy, so, we’re just gearing up for 2022 to come out the other end with some money in the bank account, to make the business what it should be – people eating in our little restaurant. It would be nice to have our soup sisters back, to be back to having fun with people again; coming out the other side.” 

One thing about Covid, she reckons, is people’s expectations have changed and it has changed the landscape of how people behave.

“The world is skewed,” she opined. “Mother Nature is angry. We have to fix this.”

For Ms. Kreuzer the plastic water bottle is a huge problem. When they do catering for the teachers, everyone is instructed to bring their own vessel. No plastic water bottles are allowed; everyone brings a container.

Water bottles are a bad habit but the Lavender Blue owners are environmentalists. They use all compostable food containers, with a passionate dislike for Styrofoam when paper works just as well.

“If you chose the right thing, the change will happen,” Ms. Kreuzer is sure. “We need to all get together; we can start buying paper products. It’s not necessary to use Styrofoam or plastic – you know the difference. Royal Chinete is doing a good job with new paper plates even without the blue flowers.”

Part of the pressure comes from the guilt that she truly feels this is the fault of her generation.

“What made us think we had to drink our water out of a bottle?”

Now, to fix it.

For all the food and service details, go to

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