Carriage House Catering
Jan 01, 2020 02:27PM
The building is a little hidden—a bit back from the street. And it’s just off Fourth Street in Williamsport, where so many Victorian mansions vie for attention. But once you see it, the only word is charming. The tidy, welcoming exterior beckons, and once inside, you are not disappointed. Somehow, the Carriage House seems larger than the outside would suggest, with open floors and lots of natural light. All in all, a perfect place for events of all sizes—showers, weddings, and receptions included. And it’s the headquarters of an unusual catering service, Chef Hosch and Ann Catering.
Chef Richard “Hosch” Hoschar and his wife, Ann House, have owned the building since 2017, but the desire to own it goes back a few years, when their catering service leased a space for a café at the Water Tower Square complex in the east end of Williamsport. The café was a favorite, and not only with people working in that part of town. Among the regulars were some of the women from the Williamsport Women’s Club, and one day at lunch they asked Chef Hosch if he would cater their meetings at their club—or even run the facility for them. Instead of giving them a direct answer, he replied that he would be interested in buying the building. No one had anticipated that reply, but the seed of a new venture was planted. A couple of years later, the Women’s Club decided that they did not want to continue maintaining their building. So they contacted Ann to ask if her husband was still interested. As this had been a comment made in casual conversation, he had not mentioned it to her. But it turned out to be a pleasant surprise for all. They did want the building and the purchase was completed in 2017. The Women’s Club also got what they said they wanted at that lunch conversation, as they meet at their former building on Thursdays to play cards, where Chef Hosch and Danielle “Chef Danie” Hunter prepare the lunch for them.
The building is ideally suited for events, as it had been built as a carriage house for one of the Fourth Street Victorian mansions in 1869. Chef Hosch, Ann, and Chef Danie have worked to make it their own. By removing the carpets and drapes, and exposing and refinishing the original hardwood floors, they transformed a nineteenth century diamond-in-the-rough into a twenty-first century showplace. Light colors and eclectic decorations make the rooms airy and elegant as well as comfortable and modern.
It’s not the first time that Chef Hosch has taken a leap of faith. He originally came to the Williamsport area to oversee food service in the Williamsport Hospital, now part of UPMC Susquehanna. After ten years, it was time to move on, and he did, literally. With a mobile kitchen he could be in the catering business full-time; he ordered that kitchen within the next two weeks. He had catered on the side since 1971, but, with this purchase in 2010, he had his kitchen on wheels and could cater events all over north central Pennsylvania. The mobile kitchen looks like a food truck, but is much more. After all, with Chef Hosch, a certified executive chef Level 2 from the Culinary Institute of America, and with Chef Danie’s CIA certified specialty of baking and pastry, the truck produces fine dining in a catering format. But, the mobile kitchen is more suited to outdoor events, which means fewer bookings in the colder months.
Enter The Carriage House, the perfect pairing with the kitchen on wheels for year-round culinary activity.
Though they do all types of business, social, and sports events, and can cater to groups from five to 500, The Carriage House is an ideal place for weddings. There have been ten weddings in the space so far, with bookings for future weddings in 2020 and 2021. They have a list of popular menu items, but they do not have set menus. Both Chef Hosch and Chef Danie love ideas and suggestions from clients for any event—they say they “want to have fun with people.” Both chefs like to work with folks who are positive and are okay with unconventional events. They like to do tastings with clients, so that the menu selections meet expectations.
The Carriage House floor plan makes for an event that moves smoothly and accommodates up to 175 people with ease. The chefs like to offer appetizers and cocktails on the lower floor, then have the guests move to the upstairs dining area for the main meal. That means the cleanup is not in the way of the guests, who then return downstairs for coffee, desserts, and other sweet treats. The entire lower floor can also be a dance floor, and so can certainly be the place to get a party started. The doors open to the patio, providing even more space when the weather is nice. They also have two private rooms, perfect for twenty-five to forty people for rehearsal dinners, showers, and parties of all types, all year long.
Find out more at chefhosch.com, on Facebook, or call (570) 850-9843.