Skip to content

In a ‘turn of events’, local couple opens new business together (6 photos)

After Covid put these new parents out of a job, they switched gears and opened their own catering business

Just over a month ago, Alison and Miguel Dias of Innisfil took a leap of faith and started their own catering business, “Turn of Events and Catering” specializing in charcuterie boards.

For many people in 2020, the year brought a lot of uncertainty with jobs as businesses struggled to stay afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic. For the Dias family, job security was an issue the couple battled as they looked for ways to support themselves and their newborn daughter.

Pre-Covid, Miguel was the head chef of nine years at Cardinal Golf Club in the Township of King. Prior to this, he was a sous chef at Poco Cappello in both Bradford and Bond Head. He attended George Brown College briefly and is planning on becoming Red-Seal trained and certified.

Alison also worked at Cardinal with Miguel for several years as the event sales and marketing coordinator. Afterwards, she moved on to gain more experience with Chair Décor Etc. as an account manager for event designers and planners.

Together, the couple has over 30 years experience in the hospitality, events, and food & beverage industry.

Alison started her maternity leave in the summer of 2020, and Miguel was was unemployed in the fall due to reasons related to Covid which left the couple scrambling to figure out how they were going to survive financially.

“We had nothing left to lose,” shares Alison. “We didn’t want to rely on the government anymore… the world can’t go back to the way it was, so we asked ourselves ‘how do we pivot from here’?”

The couple talked to their peers and others in similar industries and decided to utilize their backgrounds as a professional chef and events coordinator to start their own catering company.  

“We thought long and hard about the name – because this is literally what’s happening right now – it’s a turn of events!” expresses Alison. “So, let’s make it a better turn of events!”

Due to lockdowns and Covid-restrictions still in place, the Dias’ decided to focus on charcuterie boards using Miguel’s skills food preparation and presentation skills combined with Alison’s final décor touches to offer customers a unique food kit delivered right to your door.

“What we’re offering is essential,” notes Alison. “We had a goal of 10 orders a month and when we launched the business, we did that in just one day! So, this is definitely something worthwhile."

The couple got creative over the holidays and offered a DIY “Comfort & Joy” boxed kit containing not only a delectable gourmet charcuterie arrangement, but also a game similar to “21 Questions” to help spark some fun in lockdown.

All orders are prepared 24 hours in advance of delivery and cater to all dietary restrictions. Chef Miguel ensures all foods are fresh, hand selecting many items locally and preparing everything onsite.

Deliveries within Innisfil are free, and $10 within Simcoe County.  

“Watching people try my food, the expressions on their faces, I don’t get that now because of Covid,” shares Miguel. “But I can get it through pictures being posted on social media and from feedback – so that’s been a huge boost!”

Alison’s personality shines through in her attention to detail, as she often goes above and beyond personalizing each order based on what the client is celebrating. For example, one order included pictures that were given to her by the client and incorporated within the presentation as a gift for family members.

“Majority of our orders are sent as a gift to another household,” says Alison. “I bring my professionalism, personality, and genuine human connection with every order I deliver."

The Dias’ are currently putting together boxed kit ideas for Valentine’s Day, as well as gift ideas for Mother’s Day. Some kits will include décor that can be easily set up with each charcuterie board including linen, flowers, and candles.

When the pandemic settles down, Miguel would like to offer private chef experiences and cooking lessons in clients' homes. Until then, he will continue to prepare new and exciting packages with Alison.

“We’re treading carefully right now with Covid,” admits Miguel. “But we have many ideas for the year to launch… just trying to focus on what we can control."

To view Turn of Events and Catering charcuterie presentations, visit the Dias’ Facebook page: Turn of Events and Catering | Facebook or visit their Instagram page: @turnofeventsandcatering