Premier Caterers owners at Camp Hill retire after more than three decades

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The challenges of operating a restaurant business during a global pandemic have prompted the owners of Premier Caterers in Camp Hill to retire.

After 33 years, Eddie and Stephanie Stence recently announced that they are passing the torch and selling the full-service off-premises catering operation after the holidays.

“It was just the time for us. Truth be told, it has been difficult since Covid, ”said Stephanie Stence.

The family opened the catering business in 1989 at the suggestion of Stephanie’s father, Donald Brown Sr. She remembers starting out without a kitchen and looking for food for orders at Paradise Alley, her father’s restaurant and dining room. concert at the old annex of the East shopping center in Swatara. Canton.

Stéphanie then bought the catering business from her father and opened a banquet hall in the former Catholic Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Enola. Premier now operates from a facility located at South 35th Street in Camp Hill.

Stephanie and Eddie Stence have announced they are retiring after 33 years of operating Premier Caterers at Camp Hill.

Over the years, the company has hosted weddings, business lunches and home parties, working with generations of families.

“I will miss our customers. We have had some really fantastic clients, so supportive and kind, ”said Stéphanie.

Many Premier clients came to the aid of the couple during the height of the pandemic when business hit an all-time low and the couple were unsure whether they could keep the doors open. Premier sold take-out packages.

“It is thanks to all of you, your families and friends who have come in droves to support our business and make this possible for us. We are eternally grateful to all of you which makes it all the more difficult for me, ”the couple wrote on a Facebook post announcing their retirement.

The Stences said closures and schedule changes associated with the pandemic contributed to their decision. Stephanie noted that it had become too stressful not to know what the next day would bring.

In addition, the high cost of supplies and food as well as attempts to organize events when employees contract COVID and must self-quarantine have not helped, she said.

“It was a tough call to make because it’s a successful and stable business. Getting away from your livelihood is difficult, ”said Stéphanie.

The Stences said they were in the process of selling their business to a local restaurateur. Additionally, they said customers who made down payments for events in 2022 can meet with the new owner or go for a full refund.

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