Catering By Design

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In urgent need of funeral catering? Sydney north shore caterers Catering By Design have 31 years in the catering game, and increasingly being funeral caterers is one of their specialties – here’s why …

Karin Slade began Catering by Design in 2006 after travelling the world working in hospitality for 31 years. Her clients have included the French Prime Minister; the Chief Justice of Malta; Sir Colin Marshall and his wife from British Airways, and James Strong and Geoff Dixon, both past CEOs of Qantas. As well as hundreds of local families for christenings, birthday parties, weddings and wakes for up to 1000 people.

Fourteen years ago Karin suddenly experienced eight funerals in her own family in five months. As a result Catering By Design now specialise in helping families who have the unfortunate task of planning a wake – and do so in the most stress-free, enjoyable way possible so they can celebrate their loved one’s life instead of becoming stressed, depressed and overwhelmed.

“I’m not a counsellor or lawyer,” says Karin. “I’m just helping people in advance so children and relatives don’t have to feel uncomfortable or argue about what’s appropriate.

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“They don’t have to debate budgets. Creating in advance a pre-planned wake where this is taken care of long before the event ever happens. It’s all about making sure it’s planned and stress-free.”

Karin has written a soon-to-be-published book: Where There’s a Will There’s a Wake – Create the Celebration you would Die For. Similar to creating a will, it’s encouraging people to consciously make a funeral and wake plan. Years ago a client contacted her to create a wake for her mother. She revealed she was having a tough time. She understood her mother wanted to be cremated and her sister was clear her mother wanted to be buried. This created disharmony and made the funeral uncomfortable for everyone.

Only 50% of people have wills and even fewer have had courageous conversations around funerals and wakes.

“The truth is we are all going to die,” says Karin. “So lets get our paperwork in order!”

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The funeral industry is on the brink of a new era. Death care professionals are facing a road with unknown twists and turns ahead. What families wanted 3-5 years ago is not what they’re looking for and demanding now.

“It’s my belief that for too long the funeral industry has made a killing in caskets, coffins, funerals and cemeteries,” Karin says.

“I think the rigor mortis that set in is starting to break away and expose so many other options to the way we’re doing death.

“My mission is to educate people in alternative services in the industry. 78% of people say they want to die at home and yet only 14% do.

“Letting someone die at home is easily possible and instead of whisking away the body, let them lay on a cool bed at home for up to 5 days. Grief is made so much easier especially with children grieving.

“We can be far more environmentally friendly and use aquamation instead of the traditional and highly toxic cremation. Let’s hold wakes in venues such as surf clubs and parks just like we do weddings. Let’s celebrate Toms’ life on a Saturday at his old footy club, with the right funeral catering this will become the easiest option.”

Readers, this may be a dead-end topic and the truth is we are all going to die (sorry about that), but Karin’s wish is to work with other “out of the box” thinkers and change the way we do death in Australia. So if you know of any industry suppliers or “deathies” let her know.

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“My message is to encourage people to create magnificent end-of-life celebration plans so your family and loved ones can grieve losing you without added stress,” says Karin.

“I want you to make sure when death happens that it’s something to celebrate, not worry over.”

If funeral catering is what you urgently need, call Karin for an experience worthy of your recently departed loved one.

Catering By Design
Ph: 0412 269 049
10c Ponderosa Parade, Warriewood