Gourmet food for any day

Published 11:08 am Monday, November 10, 2008

Aaron and Jenna Saturday, caterers for American Idol Ruben Studdard’s wedding, are no stranger to celebrity gourmet tastes. Now they’re looking to cater to the everyday gourmet.

The husband-and-wife team just opened Saturday Gourmet, a café-and-catering business in Mt Laurel.

Jenna said the menu incorporates local produce, meats and cheeses as much as possible.

“It’s gourmet cuisine with a Southern flair,” she said. “What’s on the menu is the best of the best that we have.”

The menu includes such Southern favorites as a fried-green tomato club sandwich, apple smoked chicken salad and sirloin meatloaf. The menu will change seasonally.

Aaron said the café offers an opportunity for people to enjoy his food often, instead of occasionally.

“They can come in and enjoy it every day,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to do something fun, innovative and different and get feedback for it.”

Jenna oversees the day-to-day productions, while Aaron is the executive chef. Eventually, the two want to take Saturday Gourmet to the next level with franchise locations.

“(Aaron’s) dreamed of having a little café in a place like Mt. Laurel,” Jenna said. “The ultimate dream is a bistro at the beach. We want to take Saturday Gourmet to our favorite places.”

For them, however, Mt Laurel was the perfect place to start.

“There’s really nothing down here like us,” Jenna said. “We love being out here. Mt Laurel fits who we are. We’re part of the community.”

Thursday night, the Saturdays hosted a kick-off party at the café, allowing people to try their food and get a taste of the new location. It was an unquestioned success, with 400 people coming by.

Jenna hopes that early success will translate into longevity and growth.

“I want to grow. This is a small location, and we really want to get exposure,” she said. “We just want people to come and enjoy and hang out.”

Soon, the café will launch a dinner-to-go program, where customers can call in or go online to order fresh dinners ready for pick-up anytime. Catering will also remain an essential part of the Saturdays’ business.

“We want to build those relationships,” Jenna said. “Everything is word of mouth. That’s how we got the Ruben Studdard wedding.”

Good food, and plenty of it, remains the reason the Saturdays are in business.

“First and foremost, we believe in the product we put out,” Aaron said.