In 1979 Louise Lohman decided to open a small deli in Hermosa Beach with her husband, Joe Lohman, a chef who had worked in New York City. As they thought about what to name the new business, Joe stated, “Remember when we lived in New York and we were able to find great food any time of the day or night?” Louise then realized she wanted to bring that philosophy to Los Angeles, and New York Food Company was born.
Photo by New York Food Company
After operating for two years as a retail deli, the company transitioned to a corporate catering delivery service and then became the full-service catering and event company that it is today. In addition to providing catering services that include drop-off dining at your office or home, New York Food Company also offers full-service event production including dream weddings; an on-site liquor store that can provide events with a fully stocked bar, signature drinks and friendly bartenders; a commercial bakery; and a wholesale division.
Currently celebrating its 40th year in business, the company continues to raise the bar of creativity for its clients. “We are not order-takers. We are event artists who make our clients’ visions become reality,” shares managing partner Jim Wharton, who has been with NYFC for more than 30 years. “Our canvas is their event, and our medium is delicious, high-quality food and uncompromised customer service. The end result is a masterpiece that isn’t forgotten. Our clients come to us with ideas, and our job is to make their ideas happen.”
Over the years New York Food Company has provided catering services to more than 1 million clients and has created tens of thousands of weddings and special events at locations throughout Southern California—including their own exclusive ocean-view event venues La Venta Inn (Palos Verdes Estates) and Verandas Beach House (Manhattan Beach). While food is the basis of their business, the team at NYFC has found that sometimes the logistics and coordination of an event can be more of a challenge to perfect.
“From the timing, presentation, transportation, service staff and outside services such as rentals, entertainment and parking, our clients can taste and feel the difference that is a NYFC event,” says Jim. “We approach each event with an eye for quality, taste, detail and service.”
But food is where this firm shines, and over its four decades in business New York Food Company has developed a reputation as a trendsetter for the catering industry. “Our philosophy is that no request is too big and no detail is too small,” explains Jim. “We are committed to providing every client with exceptional food and service anywhere and anytime. First and foremost we are a catering company, and all business decisions are based on this simple concept.”
The company’s staff includes partner Karen Wharton, venue operations manager Michael Halish, event director Jeannie Nero Tudda, Verandas Beach House venue director Angela Bryant, chef de cuisine Alfonso Alvarado and customer service director Brett Vihnanek. In an industry known for turnover, the average tenure at NYFC for nonseasonal service staff is an astounding 24 years. “It is the team we have assembled that makes these events possible,” says Jim. “They all have the same goal of providing an experience our clients will not get anywhere else.”
The NYFC team can often be seen out and about in the community—and not just at the many events they cater and produce each week. They attend educational and networking events with professional organizations, and they support local schools and chambers, as well as organizations like Food Finders, which distributes untouched leftover event food to those in need, and Richstone Family Center, which helps local families in crisis.
“Being a part of our clients’ most precious and treasured life moments is truly fulfilling,” shares Jim. “It is not an easy business, but the reward comes in the smiles on our customers’ faces and the memories we help create.”
New York Food Company
2320 Alaska Avenue, El Segundo | 310-643-6151 | NewYorkFood.com
A young family with East Coast roots and California soul builds a house that bridges the divide.