French Airline Chicken Breast

Occasions Service Staff | Kaylee

While our crew is out catering parties in this crazy summer weather, our culinary and marketing teams are inside cranking the AC and conjuring visions of sugar plums, sleigh rides, and fresh seafood on ice sculptures. You read that right: it’s holiday party planning time! And we’ve got all the on-trend stuff, including new seasonal decor packages and fa la luscious party menus from Chef Chris.

Ready for a sneak peek? To coincide with the release of our 2019 Holiday Menus, we collaborated with our favorite partners on a holiday photoshoot. Occasions’ Marketing Manager, Nate worked with Whitney from Yonder Floral + Decor House to style the shoot with winter inspired tablescapes and and florals. The amazing Nina with From the Hip Photo captured the beauty, while the gallery-style white walls of one of Denver’s hottest new event venues, SKYLIGHT served as the backdrop.

Occasions’ menu selections are presented artfully and festive as all get out, but nothing says “holiday party” like the one-two combination of our food and decor together. Each year, Lynn and Jeremy hit the road to unique vendor shops and update our growing decor collection. We offer five distinct looks that are included with every event. Choose your package, and consider adding a couple of our specialty display furnishings for that custom touch at your holiday party. Speaking of customization, our design department can integrate your brand into any event – ask us how.

Please enjoy some of our favorite photos from the shoot!

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

DESIGN // STYLING | Nate Couture

CULINARY | Chris Meier and his team at Occasions

MODELS | Occasions Service Staff | Abigail, Kaylee and Danielle

PHOTOGRAPHY | Nina at From the Hip Photo

TABLESCAPE // FLORAL | Whitney at Yonder Floral + Decor House

VENUE | SKYLIGHT




Occasions President Jeremy Bronson joined a delegation of 150 Denver community leaders visiting Copenhagen, Denmark, this week on the UrbanEx program of the Downtown Denver Partnership. He shares learnings from the local food scene and the culture of sustainable living. 

 

A poorly kept secret: I absolutely love Denmark. Studies show Danes are the happiest people in the world, and that’s easy to understand. Denmark has plentiful natural resources that support a healthy economy, a rich cultural history and arts community, and a universal commitment to protecting the environment. 

 

And the food! Since multiyear Best Restaurant in the World, Noma opened in 2003, the culinary scene in Copenhagen has exploded. In the last ten years, large indoor and outdoor food halls have flourished, offering authentic cuisines from traditional Danish to Filipino street food to ocean fresh sushi. Fine dining can be found throughout the city, with a decidedly casual vibe and a penchant for tasting menus and organic wines.

 

In Denmark, it’s all about local. Menus all over are constructed with the same handful of market fresh ingredients. The week of our visit, the items being harvested and served in virtually every restaurant were white and green asparagus, young spring peas, baby new potatoes, rhubarb, unripe mini peaches, baby shrimp, and a variety of lettuces and herbs. Strawberries were just arriving at street markets and hadn’t made their way onto menus yet, but most likely would by the next week.

 

In a country just a sixth the size of Colorado that is committed to eating locally, everyone knows exactly what’s in season and loves to discuss creative preparations of available produce. Ever had a dessert truffle made from potato skins and potato starch? Try one at Amass, one of Copenhagen’s hottest restaurants. Or complement your green vegetable with gently pickled white asparagus discs, like they do at Palægade.

 

Another part of the rich Danish culinary tradition is the preservation of seafood: by pickling, marinating and canning it away for the offseason. In addition to classics like herring (served all-you-can-eat in a dozen different preparations at Nyhavns Færgekro in the picturesque Nyhavn neighborhood), we had tins of marinated sardines, baby squid and chopped octopus. Eaten with a little Danish rye bread, called rugbrød, these specialties are simply to die for. You can find them at Restaurant Gorilla, one of an impressive collection of food-forward restaurants in the buildings that previously housed the city’s meat packing industry.

 

Speaking of bread, the most traditional Danish food is smørrebrød, an open-faced sandwich literally translated to “schmear on bread.” Whether it’s shrimp salad and hard boiled eggs, freshly cured gravlax with dill fronds or shaved beef and asparagus, the popular Danish smørrebrød lunch can be found everywhere.

 

The conversion of this once-industrial city to modern, livable community is something to behold. Bikes outnumber people, and the city is being reengineered to minimize car travel. New apartment buildings filled with young professionals and families line the coveted canals near downtown. Transit includes a metro system, buses and even a harbor taxi that traverses the waterways around town.

 

Looking for a taste of Scandinavia on your next event? Try Occasions’ house cured gravlax or our lingonberry and brie kiss.

 

Planning your locavore menus for this growing season? Find out which Colorado produce is harvested here.

Did you know that potatoes and apples are the top items produced by Colorado farmers?




Our fourth annual Sip & Savor planner luncheon showcased what we do best – stunning events with killer food. Occasions’ Marketing Manager and Senior Event Designer, Nate and Holly, had a great time designing this year’s look, along with a fresh spring-inspired menu from Executive Chef Chris and his team. This year’s luncheon was held at Hearth House – a brand-new venue in Monument.

Hearth House features magnolia-style fixtures, a large double-sided fireplace and custom furniture, built specifically to match the venue aesthetic. We incorporated the venue’s farm tables, rolling barrel tables and multi-tier shelving units into our food displays and seating floor plan.

Signature cocktails and two new Occasions food stations welcomed planners as they mingled. The Occasions bison tomahawk station offered live carving action of a logo-branded tomahawk steak, topping our signature avocado toast for a dreamy first bite. Rainbow crudités perched in creative hummus varieties in bamboo cones made a stunning display clipped to chains for easy grab and go.

Executive Chef Chris welcomed guests to a seated lunch featuring a wild mushroom cappelletti in a spring asparagus sauce, followed by a crispy Colorado striped bass entrée. After lunch, the large barn doors opened to reveal our brand new affogato dessert action station, with butterscotch bourbon ice cream drenched with local nitro coldbrew and presented on a custom ice sculpture. We’re thrilled to be able to offer these new menu items as we enter another event-packed wedding season.

Thank you to our vendor partners for making this event the success it was!

Stationery | Nate Couture

Event Design | Holly Page, Nate Couture at Occasions

Food | Chris Meier and his team at Occasions

Photography | Erin Cady at Sarah Roshan Wedding Photographers

Venue | Hearth House

Rentals | Colorado Party Rentals

Floral | Privé Event Design

Coffee | Coda Coffee Company

Ice Sculpture | Colorado Ice Works




Earth Day is a great opportunity to highlight the work Occasions does all year long to protect our environment. We are proud to be a pioneering #CertifiablyGreenDenver business, having worked diligently with our partners at Certifiably Green Denver and Alpine Waste Management to evolve our business model to continually reduce our carbon footprint. We also involve our staff and community partners in the charge to make the Earth a better place.

Occasions is in the top 10% of “green” Denver businesses as far as diverting waste from the landfill. In 2018, we conserved 2,914 gallons of oil, saved 95,161 gallons of water, and saved 65,002 lbs. of carbon GHG emissions from entering our atmosphere (See full report here). Also, based on our Green building initiatives have saved 25-30% kw of electricity and 5-10% of water consumption.

Some of the other projects we have completed are:

  1. Replaced our entire lighting infrastructure with LED fixtures
  2. Installed low-flow faucets and other water conservation equipment
  3. Implemented complete waste stream sorting at events, in our kitchens, and in the office
  4. Added new policies to reduce waste generation, such as a request-only straw policy, with compostable straws
  5. Engaged employees and community partners through staff training and empowerment

Perhaps the greatest measure of our impact is the influence we’ve had on our team:

“Occasions not only takes steps to help our environment, they also take the time to educate their employees. They have made a huge impact on how I handle my ‘waste’ at home.” — Chef Deana

“Our environmental awareness and dedication to the highest standards from all employees creates an environment of conscientiousness among the employees that carries far beyond the work we do on the clock.” — Captain Tim

Our sustainability initiatives embrace Occasions’ core values of LOVE-TRUST-PARTNERSHIP, whether it is through our team volunteer activities and board memberships, or our frequent field trips to study sustainability in action and truly understand how what we do affects the environment around us. Do you have a great idea for a new sustainability initiative for us? We welcome your ideas. Until then, know that we’re continuing to work to save our planet, one compostable straw at a time!




On May 30th and 31st, we opened the doors to Colorado’s newest wedding and events venue: The Pavilion at The Stanley! Over 150 top planners, clients, and vendor partners joined us to see The Stanley Hotel‘s latest addition and our newest venture as the venue’s exclusive caterer.

This open house event doubled as a styled shoot, with help from From the Hip Photo, Project Floral, Wallflower Rentals, The Gardner Effect, and Event Rents. Thank you to all our partners and guests who made the trip to Estes Park for such a unique two-day experience!




Today is Earth Day. And on Earth Day we take time to reflect on our green efforts both personally and as a business, while trying to evaluate ways we can improve for the year ahead. So we naturally felt a bit inspired to share with you some of our big sustainability accomplishments this past year…

After a yearlong process, this past winter we were so happy to finally be given our certification by the City of Denver as a Certifiably Green Business. Although we’ve prided ourselves on being an environmentally-conscious company since 1970 – composting at events, partnering with We Don’t Waste, providing recyclable and compostable tableware options for our clients, etc. – we were so thrilled to take our business to the next level and make it official.

This certification process was lead by Occasions C.O.O Kevin Birka, who slowly but surely was able to check off many very specific requirements from the City of Denver, including: switching our standard office paper to paper made from recycled goods, installing new, low-flow toilets and faucets, installing LED lights throughout the entire building, and training our staff and team on public transportation and carpooling options to easily get to both events and the Occasions headquarters. Although at times the process seemed tedious, Kevin states, “it is simply a continuation of our already-established, ongoing culture of low-impact, eco-friendly practices… we are lucky that the City of Denver has goals that align with ours and are able to provide further education to organizations like ours.”

Kevin admits we probably could not have done all the checklist requirements within a year, without the help of team members Ari Barger and Cassy Cadwallader, though. Cassy Cadwallader, for example, joined our team as event staff in April 2017 and has quickly moved her way up to now being one of our most-requested event captains. As a current student studying Geography and Sustainability at Metropolitan State University, Cassy has a passion for reducing global food scarcity and increasing sustainability efforts, “all my international travels throughout school have made me realize food scarcity and sustainability issues. I quickly decided I wanted to learn how food moves throughout the world, and how to be more efficient with it, so that lead me to pursue my current degree. I wanted to focus on what I’m passionate about.”

 

Now in her junior year at MSU, Cassy has partnered with Occasions not only as an event staff, but also as an intern. For the past four months, she has helped us source more environmentally-friendly resources and trained and educated staff on waste management options on-site at events (what goes in the compost bins, what goes in the recycle bins, and what is left for the trash bins, etc.). She says her background and future career goals have landed her a home at Occasions,  “I’ve worked in restaurants my whole life and this is the only company that’s had this mentality. This mentality of caring about the environment and having consciousness around consumption.”

And with those words our hearts are beyond full. We truly know our company would be nothing without team members like these ones, and we are so happy that their hard work can be seen.

Last month, for example, proved to be one of our most green, with 90.4% of all of our waste being diverted from the landfills, to recycled materials and compo (see attached report).

Stay tuned to see how we can beat these records in the next months and beyond. Excited for the even greener future ahead.




Our third annual event planner luncheon was held at Denver’s newest event venue, Archetype Distillery, on March 7th. We welcomed over seventy-five of Denver’s top event planners to the luncheon, in order to re-connect and relax before the upcoming summer season.

Occasions Marketing Manager Krista Pass worked with Occasions Sales Director Dana Jones to plan out every detail of the afternoon and the hard work paid off! We were so happy to hear such nice reviews of the food – and overall event – from so many of our preferred partners.

Another perk was having our Executive Chef Chris Meier introduce some of our newest, spring menu items to our VIP guests:

First course: Carta di Musica
Second course: Seared salmon, scallion sorrel pesto orzo, green beans, purple cauliflower
Dessert: Chai Spice Tres LechesA huge thank you to all of our fantastic vendor partners:

Occasions Event Designer: Krista Pass, Dana Jones

Venue: Archetype Distillery

Florals and Décor: Privé Events

Photography: Sarah Roshan

Furniture: Hunt & Gather Rentals

Linens: Soirée Linen




This Valentine’s Day we wanted to feature one of our most-memorable couples, who truly exuded love for one another through and through: Lindsay and Jaron.

This couple was so sweet throughout the whole planning process and laid-back on the big day – they simply adored each other and wanted a chic, yet casual and intimate wedding with their closest loved ones.

So to make it the perfect day, they enlisted the help of some top-knotch vendor partners:

Event Planner: Pink Champagne Events

Occasions Event Designer: Katie Quinn, Occasions Catering

Venue: Moss Denver

Photo: Meigan Canfield

Florals: Project Floral

Dessert: VooDoo Doughnuts

Cake: The Makery

Rentals: Yonder House

Dress: BHLDN Weddings

Invitations: Oh Deer Paperie

Hair + Makeup: Glam Team Colorado

DJ: Encore Entertainment

We absolutely loved all the unique touches each vendor contributed to the big day. Check out the insider interview here…Be sure to read our behind-the-scenes interview with Event Planner Jessica McTaggart here…

What was your favorite part about Lindsay & Jaron’s wedding?
I loved their color palette. It was soft and romantic, but sophisticated and chic. Typically in an industrial space such as Moss, I see much darker tones, with very little color.

How would you describe the overall “look” or theme of the wedding?
It was definitely Industrial Chic with a twist of Bohemian.

Why did the couple choose Moss over other venues?
They both love the city and wanted to share it with their friends and family. They also liked the exposed brick, existing chandeliers, and hanging Edison bulbs. It provided the backdrop they desired, without adding a ton of décor.

Any unique challenges that arose in the planning that you were able to overcome?
Lindsay and Jaron wanted a casualand “no-fuss” reception, that would allow them to mingle and hang with their closest friends and family. However, they also wanted to show a ton of hospitality to their guests. In lieu of a seated/plated dinner, guests were treated to a never-ending cocktail reception, complete with amazing nibbles from Occasions, sweet treats from The Makery and VooDoo Doughnuts, and fabulous drinks from PEAK. All the while having the time of their lives on the dance floor and in the photo booth.

How would you describe Lindsay and Jaron?
Seriously, THE SWEETEST COUPLE ever!!! Their love for each other, their puppy dog Finley, their friends & family, and people in general, exuded on their wedding day. To give an example of how amazingly sweet these two are – they ordered chocolate chip cookies for their vendor team to enjoy during setup! I mean, how thoughtful is that?! Love them!!




Each winter, we explore major design and gift showcases to stay on top of trends and update our signature design looks with unique items. This year, Event Designer Lynn Hubert, who quarterbacks our décor initiatives, took a team to a major Denver design show and also traveled to Dallas with Jeremy Bronson, one of our owners.

In addition to their great finds purchased for our client events, here are some of Lynn and Jeremy’s overall observations:

GROWING POPULARITY:
  • African animals, especially elephants
  • Antlers, natural and metallic
  • Pressed tin
  • Colors: deep blues and greens, linen
  • Distressed painted wood
STILL STRONG:
  • Gold, silver and white
  • Irregular geometrics
  • Metallic painted wood
  • Fake succulent plants, metallic cast and paper succulents
  • Creative combinations of wood and metal

See how we’ve incorporated these trends with our signature looks of 2017.We will be introducing more vertical display pieces to our super popular collection of creative food station furniture. We are also excited to unveil our new Mountain White décor look, bringing to five the selections we include at no charge to our full-service clients.

HERE’S THE 2018 LIST:
  • Mountain Vintage
  • Modern Bronze
  • Urban Loft Silver
  • Gallery Gold
  • Mountain White

 




On October 22nd, 2017, we were so excited to partner with 5280 Magazine for the annual 5280 Dines, featuring some of Denver’s top-voted restaurants and chefs. Throughout the entire evening, our team and the 350+ guests could feel this wave of creative, positive energy being spread throughout Backyard on Blake in RiNo – we were honored to be working next to such culinary masters, serving up the bars and signature old fashioned cocktails.Plus – the evening could not have had better weather and location to view one of the season’s most memorable orange Denver sunsets that kicked off the night on the VIP rooftop. Check out some of the fun highlights of this large event, thanks to our talented friends at From The Hip Photo, and Gusto Studio Photo Booths.