“Everything I’ve wanted in life is happening.”
– Duane Foster, owner, D’s Catering; inaugural Kitchen Council maker
Duane Foster’s passion for cooking has been simmering ever since he was a teenager. He was inspired, he says, by the best: “My mother is the best cook I’ve ever seen in my life; a southern-style woman who cooked for her family. She just started teaching me.”
Duane has long dreamed of opening his own catering business, but that dream has been deferred – until now. D’s Catering is finally coming to fruition.
“I’ve been doing a lot of promotion, getting my name out, getting prepared for the future,” he says.
Duane is not going it alone. He was the very first entrepreneur to sign on with Kitchen Council, the region’s unique food startup incubator, which officially opens in February. Backed by the Greater Omaha Chamber, the Iowa West Foundation and the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce, Kitchen Council’s facility – 2,500 square feet in Council Bluffs, IA – gives members access to a fully-equipped commercial kitchen; business development assistance and other resources.
“Kitchen Council has everything a caterer needs,” Duane says. “You can ask questions. You can get help promoting your company. This is a great way for anyone in the cooking industry to start a business.”
Duane says D’s Catering is going to be unique, showcasing his made-from-scratch homestyle cooking and his specialty: “I have a signature-type barbeque. I do a charcoal and smoked-type meat. That’s what I’ve been doing since I started smoking.”
Duane also mixes up his own BBQ sauce varieties, which he hopes to bottle and sell someday.
“Kitchen Council is helping me with that already,” he says.
Duane spent about nine years serving as a combat engineer in the US Army, an experience that took him throughout Europe and the United States. He says he started getting more and more into food after leaving the military: “It was on my mind constantly.”
After driving for Greyhound for seven years, Duane finally answered that persistent call to pursue a career in the food industry. He has worked in the kitchens at Ameristar, a couple of area nursing facilities and for now, full-time at the VA Medical Center.
“I owe it all to my mom who told me, ‘Whatever you want to do, stick with it. If that’s your passion in life, do it.’”
If all goes according to plan, D’s Catering will become his full-time focus.
“I want to be in this 100-percent,” he says.
Come meet Duane Foster and Kitchen Council’s other inaugural makers at Kitchen Council’s Launch Party on Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 6 – 8 p.m. Learn more about this innovative endeavor, check out the revamped space and mix and mingle with other food aficionados.
Kitchen Council exists to lower barriers to entry for food businesses. It is located at 50 Arena Way, Suite 11 in Council Bluffs, IA.
Special thanks to our Kitchen Council partners:
You can ‘like’ and learn more about D’s Catering on Facebook.