When Don McNeill, CEO of CateringStone took over business development for the company HemoStable he had no idea he would be on the verge of creating an industry-changing product. As caterers know, when you are trying to keep food hot or cold in safe range there are not many options and not much has changed in the past 100 years. Whether you are storing food for a long ride or need to keep your food hot for an extended period of service, the solutions caterers have are expensive, relatively ineffective and can even be dangerous.
Don McNeill was brought in with HemoStable after his longtime friend, former Chief Computer Scientist at Dupont, Dr. David Pensak asked him to take over his business development. HemoStable had the ability to keep blood in the safe range of 1-6°Celsius for up to 50 hours! It did not take long before Don saw the potential this product could have in a different market. “I looked at that same technology and thought, if we have the ability to keep blood safe for 50 hours without ice, what can we do to help save some of the 100 billion pounds of nutritious food that gets thrown out in this country every year?” McNeill asked. CateringStone was created from there.
After the company had perfected cold with their -9°F below zero Stone and essentially solved a major issue caterers have at the end of the night with their excess foods, the company shifted in the other direction. The CateringStone team was told that they’ve conquered cold, now conquer hot and you will conquer the world. After that point, the wheels were in motion.
McNeill and his team set out to do just that, and started with a 154°F stone. While it was certainly in the safe zone, over 140°F, it was not palate pleasing hot. The CateringStone team went on to make a second stone, this time at 190°F; while this was certainly palate pleasing hot it also continued to cook the food and chefs don’t like that! The third time was the charm for CateringStone, they created a perfect palate pleasing stone at 176 degrees Fahrenheit that will stay hot for two-three hours in direct food service or up to six hours in transportation.
So how does it all work? “The stones are actually high-density polyethylene bottles and they’re filled with a specialty chemical that’s set to a specific temperature, with proprietary ingredients,” McNeill said.
The aspect of the CateringStone that people don’t seem to get is that the there are two parts to the product that make it great. The CateringStone has its obvious ability to keep things cold and hot for extended periods, but it saves money over existing methods by being reusable hundreds of times. Another aspect of the product line is it’s clear pleasing aesthetic. CateringStone offers its clients a plethora of very aesthetically pleasing thermal conductive servers: Stainless steel covers, oval passed platter trays, pizza trays, tempered glass tops, slate tops, their iconic soapstone tops and their beautiful American Black Walnut bases. They also offer completely custom units where you can get any design laser engraved on the wood, or get glass tops with your images and logos offering completely new branding solutions. You can even customize your box with LED lighting that backlights your food presentation for a stunning display that has never been done before.
So what makes CateringStone such a solid investment? The biggest and most important aspect of CateringStone is that it is reusable. The fact that it is made from sustainable material and is eco-friendly is just an added plus. A caterer can spend as little as $0.58 a can for two hours of canned heat. But even at that low price Catering Stone will save you around $1,300 over the life of the Stone. On the cold side of things, you will save over the cost of bagged ice and on the cleanup time and mess associated with ice melt.
The Wilmington, Delaware-based company stumbled on to this amazing product for warming and cooling catering solutions. McNeill and his team are proud that their company is an eco-friendly sustainable company that has been able to launch The CateringStones while working with local businesses as close as 5 minutes away. This elegant product has the ability to truly innovate an industry that has not seen much change.
If you are a caterer looking for a new and exciting way to innovate and save money, please visit the CateringStone website to learn more.