Have you ever met someone who, by their conversation and character alone, compelled you to give them a 5-star rating without having tried their product or service? After just a small taste test and quick introduction at a bridal show, I just knew this caterer was the real deal. As a result of that simple interaction, we have become kindred spirits, sharing a background as retired educators and a passion to serve others.
I am thrilled to introduce the second of a four-part series featuring another favorite vendor.
Maggi Upshaw is the strong, unwavering voice and owner of RubaLee’s Southern Kitchen, a catering company serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area and beyond, where good food is only half the experience. Hear the inspiring details of her story.
Maggi, what motivated you to go into the catering business?
I was inspired to pursue this business following a life-threatening and life-altering experience. Once it was revealed to me, I felt driven to strive beyond my limitations to make the initiative successful.
What challenges or hindrances did you face during this process?
Before launching RubaLee’s Southern Kitchen, I was injured in an automobile accident. Eight months later, I suffered another setback that left me unable to continue my profession as a teacher. During the initial months of restrictive abilities and rehabilitation, I received the spiritual revelation that I would not return to the classroom. Rather, I was inspired, directed, and led to develop what appeared to be the highly impossible task of creating RubaLee’s Southern Kitchen. The amazing part of this is that I was in no physical condition to do any work. I did remember some recipes, of course; however, I was handicapped by the residual effects of my previous mishap. Literally following what I strongly felt instructed to do, I gathered family together and talked them into moving ahead. God instructed me to move forward! And, with the tremendous physical support and love of my family, we did.
What is the story behind your business name?
Ruba Lee is the name of my beloved late mother. All that I am and live to be results from the unconditional love, fundamental values, and many life lessons she would make time to embed in me. She, an orphan, stood steadfastly on teaching her children to dedicate their best effort to everything we attempted to achieve. Being driven and results oriented, Mama would look for the end at the beginning of her decisions. She taught us to do the same!
How did you develop your culinary skills?
I have been cooking since I was eight (8) years old. Initially, I was too short to reach things successfully, so I stood on a chair and watched my mother do her thing. As I learned, she would coach me through completing the simple tasks. Yes, that meant washing the dishes, too! My father enjoyed cooking, as well. So, as one of the older siblings who liked to cook, I quickly learned to prepare simple dishes.
Most of the dishes we now offer are the foods that we grew up eating.
What is unique about your business?
While we are in business to provide and distribute the wonderful culturally rich dishes that we grew up enjoying, RubaLee’s Southern Kitchen is a family owned and operated business with a primary focus on building strong customer relationships. Most of our business comes from referrals and repeat customers.
What tips would you share with potential wedding clients?
- Always check reviews and consider the feedback that others express regarding their experiences with the service.
- Make a telephone call to the service and ask specific questions regarding how their catering processes might affect your upcoming event.
- Ask if the caterer offers or may be connected to deals on additional related services such as venue selection, event planners and coordinators, bartending services, table linens and decorating services, florists, and balloon bouquets and arch artists.
- Contact vendors as early as possible to improve your ability to secure a desired venue and date. People book events as far as 18-24 months in advance.
Why do clients choose to work with you?
We are told that clients select us because of competitive pricing, the quality of our food, and our friendly and professional customer-oriented service.
As a client’s preferred caterer, what is one unique idea or contribution you made to their day?
We directly assist each client with what we call “balancing out their menu.” In doing so, the client receives a budget-conscious menu, which is typically an array of flavorful dishes, that cover each desired meal course.
What have your clients said after their RubaLee experience?
-Jenny M. in Wylie, TX
Our company hosted a “Lunch with Soul” last month for our employees and after much research, had RubaLee’s catered in. To say it was divine is an understatement. The food was made with so much love and passion, and you could taste it with each bite! The smothered pork chops, shrimp and grits, and banana pudding were the absolute highlights of the meal! Ms. Maggie and her sister did their mom proud with their service and quality of food. HIGHLY recommend for your next big event. They do weddings, graduations, corporate events, you name it!
When it comes to your special event or wedding day, excellent food and quality service are non-negotiable. Contact RubaLee’s Southern Kitchen to fully experience this mouth-watering, made-from-scratch goodness, coupled with customer-centered, detail-oriented excellence!!
Additionally, receive 10% off of wedding management services from Marvalous Weddings by mentioning RubaLee’s Southern Kitchen in the comments section of my Contact Form under the Work with Us tab. Offer expires 5/31/23.