Originally printed in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead’s ChamberChoice special insert
After being told the couple had no money to start a business, and therefore should work for another company, Eric and Sara Watson began a catering business out of their two-bedroom apartment. That catering business, now Mosaic Foods, is the parent company to Café Muse in the Plains Art Museum as well as WF Maxwells.
“We started off as a real grassroots company,” Eric says. “Our philosophy was to start with the money in our pockets and build a business on what we had, not what somebody else would give us. So this business is something the two of us built from nothing. We went from a 2-bedroom, 2-person company to 41 employees – from nothing to something pretty substantial.”
The Watsons feel their menu sets them apart from the rest, as they make everything from scratch with many creative options. “Every item that we make throughout the entire company is homemade fresh food. I think that really sets us apart from our competition and other restaurants in town,” Sara says. “Also, we serve items you won’t be able to find at any other place. We still do lots of mainstream items that folks gravitate towards as well.”
They are able to cater for any size group – from a four-person family picnic to a wedding or corporate event with several hundred attendees. Sara and Eric work hard to get into the public and meet their clients. They teach cooking classes, cater corporate events and exhibit at Business After Hours. They enjoy mingling with the public and hope to continue developing relationships to exchange support with other businesses.
The Watsons agree a lot of visibility is due to becoming a Chamber member in 2009. They feel the strong social and professional networking opportunity helps create awareness of what they do.
“We’ve seen tremendous support from The Chamber and other members. These events are really fun and a chance to join the public and support others in the community,” Sara explained.
Eric agrees. “The community and the locals are what drives us,” he says.