Some artists use paint and brushes, while Regina O’Rourke expresses her creativity through meat and cheese.
O’Rourke and her husband Evan run a sausage-based catering business in Frederick, known as Gather, Charcuterie for all occasions.
The couple, married for nearly 30 years, decided to pursue their dream of starting a business after they became empty nests. They opened the business in August 2021.
‘Charcuterie’ is a French term used to describe cold cooked meat. In recent years, the word has expanded colloquially to include almost any decorative arrangement of sweet or savory temptations.
The O’Rourke family used snacks quite widely. Their menu includes brunch-style trays with pastries and fruit, plus a variety of meats, cheeses, nuts, biscuits and vegetables. Gather offers a range of seasonal trays, pasture boxes and plates.
“Now we call everything sausages,” Regina said.
Charcuterie is on trend now, Evan said. The O’Rourke family is not worried about the loss of his popularity.
“It’s like something I think people will do for a long time,” Regina said.
Gather prices range from $ 12 for an individual sausage box to almost $ 200 for an extremely large tray. They try to have something for everyone, whether it’s a modest picnic for two or an eye-catching wedding grazing table.
Regina carefully arranges each item. She turns sliced pepperoni into flowers and rolls balls of goat cheese into delicious spices.
When she fills an order, she tries to fill every crack. In addition, it will add a few food-safe flowers to make the tray stand out with color.
Regina notes all allergies and is happy to customize.
Orders are prepared in a commercial kitchen with a total use of 300 E. Second St. in Frederick. Customers receive orders there on Saturdays, by appointment only or can receive food.
On Friday in the kitchen, Regina placed the finishing touches on a brunch tray – a purple violet here, an orange daisy there.
Evan likened his wife’s process to a canvas artist. She disagreed.
“While it’s ready … it’s like this beautiful art exhibition of food,” Regina said.
Gather is a passionate project for the couple. They balance business with full-time work. Evan teaches technology education at West Frederick High School. Regina works in finance at a local oil company.
Prior to that, Regina spent about 10 years at the former Mealey’s restaurant in New Market, where she managed catering. She said her sausage arrangements have always been the subject of family parties. Evan spent about six years at Ledo Pizza in the Northwestern District of Columbia, and also worked in a delicacy in his youth.
Now they have taken their experience and turned it into a business that they hope will bring joy to the community.
Regina said she worked with a difficult client. When they left the food, Regina worried that the customer would be satisfied. The customer called a week later to say that her relatives outside the city said the tray of sausages was the highlight of their visit.
“It makes us feel really good,” Evan said.
The COVID-19 pandemic somehow inspired the name of their business. Regina remembered a time when gatherings were limited to small groups. Their daughter’s wedding was postponed twice.
The forced separation made the O’Rourke family value their time with loved ones. They wanted their business to pass this on.
“We lost so much time in the house, you know, for two years, and I thought, ‘It’s time to go out and start getting together,'” Regina said.
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