The Crave Expo, was a premiere event bringing the best quality from the LA culinary community straight to your palate. This expo personally showcased the talents of chefs, bartenders, bakers, and caterers to the public all at once. I was so impressed by the concept that I wanted to learn more! Check out my interview with the Crave Expo co-founders and team, Jacob Lee, Peter Paik and Martin Kim.
What was the inspiration for this business concept?
We saw our good friend Miles Canares, owner of Venue Tradeshow, bring in a new urban fashion trade show to Los Angeles. While visiting his show, we were awestruck by how buyers and exhibitors were engaging with one another and conducting business. Right there we got the epiphany: bring the tradeshow blueprint to the food industry. After much research, we were thrilled to find there was not a place where the food industry can gather in one place while conducting business with only their targeted leads.
What do you hope to accomplish at this premiere event?
We want Crave Expo to be everyone's one stop shop for their catering needs. We want our name to be synonymous with food and catering. We believe we can accomplish that by showcasing the best food exhibitors and inviting the best professional guests who will help market them or partner with them.
Why should people come to you for their catering needs?
We pride ourselves in showcasing the best exhibitors that each city has to offer. Imagine a town with all five star ratings with different cuisines, new concepts, and entertainment, how marvelous would that be! You can find all that in Crave Expo. You can come with confidence knowing these exhibitors have been vouched by us.
What has the reaction been from your clients?
Truly, these past few months have been a humbling and exciting time for us. It was amazing to see both our exhibitors and guests say that Crave was needed in both their industries. The exhibitors needed a platform to showcase their creativity and creation to those who matter. While the event coordinators, film productions, corporate offices, brides and grooms needed a place where they can sample variety of different food without traveling to multiple places wasting time.
What does your business aim to accomplish for its customers?
We want our guests to "work", finding their next caterer, while having a great time. We have been to countless shows where their guests are in and out in 30 minutes! We want our guests to network, lounge, and enjoy themselves while they are here. This way each guests and exhibitors can build a comfort level where conducting business is not awkward.
What are your individual relationships like with food?
Jacob has been wanting to open up his own restaurant ever since middle school. He enrolled in Art Institute - Culinary and worked as a chef. He loves to be in shape, but it's so difficult for him since he wants to experience every restaurant and cuisine!
Peter has always valued customer service above all else. Working as a chef, there was not a better feeling when his customers would take pictures and rave about his food.
Martin's love for food is unmatched. Traveling all over the world finding the best local eateries and trying exotic food, are his passion. (Try to catch him eating one of the exhibitor's food, and look at his facial expression!)
What was the most enjoyable part of planning this expo?
Meeting with our exhibitors was truly our biggest joy during this journey. Bringing us samples, introducing us to other professionals, inviting us to parties, negotiating, emailing, etc., was truly a vindication for us that we are in the right business; which ultimately is helping one another.
For more information on what Crave can do for you please visit: www.craveexpo.com