We had the good fortune of connecting with Mario Scroggins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mario, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
As a hobby, I have always cooked and prepared food for friends or family. One day, I was asked by a former boss to cater a small home gathering and hesitantly, I said yes. There was no compensation other than the money for food. I was responsible for all of the food dishes as well as setting up and taking down. It was successful as the party guest raved about how great the food was. Furthermore, my former boss was amazed and impressed by my service and presentation. Upon the conclusion of the event and my return home, I literally cried because I had the epiphany that this hobby had morphed into an asset that could marketed and sold. With this, my thought process behind starting my business were to use my hobby as a vehicle to provide a great service with great tasting food and amazing presentation. I did not have the How’s and What’s but I later discovered that my WHY was two-fold; I wanted to honor the legacy of my family members, mainly my father and grand-father, that made a living in food service. I also wanted to start something that could one day serve as a foundation for sustained, self-generating wealth for my family and future family members.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Big Moe’s Custom Catering, LLC is a home grown Catering Business that provides great service at affordable pricing, while serving amazing food. Along with those attributes is our presentation, which makes us stand out amongst premier catering services. We have a wide range of catering options suitable for an array of event types and can customize menus to suit various event styles and needs. We primarily service the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area and we have affiliates in Shreveport, Louisiana. Aside from our catering services are our Private Dining Services which give us the opportunity to provide an intimate/ in home experience for guest through cooking. These uniquely specialized dishes leave guest taking photos prior to eating and falling in love after just one bite. Our Private Dining Services, to date, is what I am most proud of because it came as my response to the woes of Covid-19. The Corona Virus put a stop on the large 100 and 200 guest events we were accustomed to, forcing us to re-think and re-tool. With the motivation of my good friend Crystal Clark, I was convinced this would be a great new service and it was. It has allowed me to expand my business and my menu as our Private Dining Services features upscaled-fine dining dishes such as our Peach Pecan Bread Pudding; Devilish Eggs/ Blackened Shrimp; Stuffed Pineapple Boats; Scallop Bisque and many more. Though Private Dining was a new service, we used the same motto of Great Service, Presentation and Amazing Food. Those are the standards that brought us to where we are. It has been a journey from our official start in January 2015 until now. I used to pray for 1 event per month and that has been exceeded 10 fold as friends, family and social media have exposed us to more and more people while also expanding our reach. Regardless of anything I have done, I would not be here without the voices of close friends, family, social media and GOD. This journey was not and is not easy as you are constantly working to grow your craft while simultaneously soliciting business. At the end of the day, we want to make money and that means business. This can be challenging because as a business owner, you have to wear many hats and one of those is that of a chief marketer. I’ve learned that you have to put yourself out there and be willing to accept everything that comes from this. But while marketing, hold true to who you are, remember “whose” you are and things will ultimately align. You should also be prepared to be patient. Patience will afford you rest rather as opposed to stressing over things that will inevitably take time to mature in your business. As far as my brand, I want the world to know that I am at the Genesis of something that is great and will only get better. Your money is a secondary consequence, as in building my brand, I am more concerned that your experience with my food and service were amazing. If your experience was amazing, I have now gained another trustee that can attest to the fact that we are an amazing business.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being in Dallas, TX, we have no shortage of happenings, treats and eats. We would start our day at Ellen’s Southern Kitchen for Brunch. The look is deceiving because it appears to be an upscaled restaurant but they have great southern breakfast options. Biscuits and Gravy are a must for me. Depending on the day, I may have to go The Gator Pit BBQ in Lancaster, TX. The ribs never disappoint and the loaded baked potato would conquer a GIANT. The Deep Ellum area is another favorite spot because you can have it all. Great burgers and wings a The Angry Dog, Authentic Mexican at Vedorra’s or enjoy the views of Stirr. And if you need something to quench your thirst, the Tea at Black Jacks Pizza is a must. Got a sweet tooth? Go get a Cake Bowl from my good friend The Cake Daddy. All of our nights would conclude at The Freeman Cafe which houses the best musical talents night after night. There are several other attractions like the Grapevine Food Tour and The Feverup Musical Shows which present a String Quartet performing music from the like of Mozart, Beethoven and Vivaldi. This entire trip would not be complete without a trip to Texas Live which sits at the heart of Cowboy Stadium and Texas Ranger Stadium.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Who else deserves some credit and recognition? My family is the largest motivator for my business. My father has catered all of my life. My Grandfather and Grandmother used to own a restaurant in Shreveport, La “Scroggins’ Momas To-Go.” My aunt caters in Lake Charles, Louisiana. My uncle Gene, who actually helped name my business is a great help. I have been blessed to be around some great family members that motivate and support every aspect of what I do. My team is also a great source as some have traveled the world and even work with food service in the military. My Sweet Lady is a support system on her own. Family is important, but to have a family that is versed in that which you do adds a great level of comfort.