New Street Catering: West Chester University’s Custom Caterer

Sometimes it’s breakfast for 15 people and other times it’s dinner for 1,000. Whatever the University function, New Street Catering is there with custom delights to satisfy the tastes of students, faculty, alumni and visitors alike.

“There’s a wide range of what we can do and focus on,” says director Patrick O’Connor. As the exclusive caterer for West Chester University, the New Street Catering team enjoys fielding a vast array of requests and designing menus to fit each unique event.

The customized experience is also one they provide to private events outside of the university, whether it be a baby shower, corporate luncheon or full service wedding.

Grand Scale Operations

This spring, New Street Catering showcased its culinary chops at the annual Presidential Scholarship Gala and an all-day inaugural bash that spanned morning through night. Much of their work was done in collaboration with Mary Beth Henley, event director of the WCU Foundation, who says, “I love working on custom orders with the New Street Catering team.”

O’Connor says that tying food, drink and decor together under a theme is “hugely important,” and the WCU Presidential Scholarship Community Gala, a sit-down dinner for 300 people, provided his team with a chance to show off its range.

Designated by the WCU Foundation as “West Chester Gold Rush,” this year’s black-tie affair transported guests to the Wild West with the help of New Street’s aptly designed menu.

Henley says, “I’m really proud of the work we did together for the Gala. The chefs came up with great suggestions that completely captured the spirit of the old west by embracing historic gold mining sites. The menu included bison as a nod to the Black Hills of South Dakota, salmon from the Alaskan gold rush and, of course, great options from the California gold rush,” such as San Francisco sourdough bruschetta.

The New Street crew further teased out the motif with a wild game board, creamed chipped beef and Alaskan king crab. As the gala was held on April 1, they served Fool’s Golden Goose, a deliciously deceptive smoked duck served with duck confit and fingerling potatoes and served a fabulous wild game board.

More recently, New Street put on an all-day catering extravaganza for the April 21 inauguration of WCU President Dr. Fiorentino.

An invitation-only sit down breakfast for 80 people kicked of the day with New Street Catering serving up delectable ratatouille skillet and ham & cheese quiches, sausage, bacon and potatoes as well as individual breakfast parfaits.

They then relocated to the academic quad to serve a grand scale barbecue lunch. As for who attended: “The whole university,” O’Connor says. “All were invited.”

From 12–2 p.m., 1,000 or so students enjoyed grilled chicken sandwiches, fruit salad, grilled veggies, salads, cookies and brownies.

The indefatigable catering team then went on to complete a day of catering with a 200 person reception, where they served hors d’oeuvres, cheese trays with a domestic and imported selection, a dip bar with crab, buffalo chicken and spinach dips and loads of fresh fruit and crudite.

As an event director, Henley has come to cherish the versatility and flexibility she finds with New Street Catering. “They really step it up for me on a regular basis, easily adjusting to last minute changes and working with me to make sure each event is flawless,” she says.

From black tie galas to down home barbecues, she says New Street always hits the mark. “I get a lot of praise from people that attend our events and this is always a reflection of the New Street Catering team.”

Fun with Themes

Aside from major university functions, the team at New Street Catering gets a kick out of doing student events, where unique themes “get our creativity going as far as signage and menu items,” O’Connor explains.

New Street recently served up Wookies Cookies and Light Saber pretzels for a student group’s Star Wars themed party and had a blast catering a Princess & Superhero Tea Party for the Alumni Association.

New Street Catering is also ready to bring theme-based flair to more private events. The company recently expanded its services to include bridal and baby showers, milestones like birthdays and retirement parties, corporate functions, bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings.

Whatever your catering need may be, New Street Catering is ready to work its magic for you.

The Same, but Different

Though under the Aramark umbrella, New Street Catering is its own entity. And though located within Lawrence Dining Hall, it operates within its own space and with much of its own equipment. Though distinct from the University, the alliance between the two is mutually beneficial.

The University affords New Street a variety of audiences who have, in turn, strengthened and sharpened its catering skills. Likewise, New Street Catering provides reliably satisfying fare to its many university-affiliated diners as well as employing a great number of its attendees. “75% of our servers are students from the University,” O’Connor says.

In a graduation of sorts, the New Street Catering team that serves campus crowds ranging from small to enormous now takes its next step as private function caterers for clients across Chester County. To sample the services of West Chester University’s best kept catering secret, find New Street Catering at 700 S. New Street in West Chester; phone: (610) 436-3130.

  • Photos: New Street Catering