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Five Questions with Andrew Greaves

Andrew Greaves

Andrew Greaves started making and delivering gourmet sandwiches this month under the name the Food Service. The business delivers box lunches — sandwiches, salads and other sides — for businesses, groups and events within a 30-mile radius of Duluth. Greaves says the idea “bridges the gap between fast food and commercial catering with a wholesome, customized meal for each individual.” We asked him Five Questions about his life and new business.

Q: What inspired you to start The Food Service?

A: I have always harbored a passion for cooking. In high school, my friends and I would gather at my house to make sandwiches if we didn’t go out to eat for lunch. We made sure to buy day-old bread from Erbert & Gerbert’s, and the fridge was always stocked with deli meats, cheeses and vegetables accompanied by plenty of sauces and other toppings to create the “perfect sandwich.”

Back then, we poked at having a food truck or a restaurant to feature our exquisite handiwork. I love knowing that the product I make for a customer is something they thought about and chose specifically. When one orders a Food Service boxed lunch, one is choosing to eat wholesome, fresh food that is prepared on a daily basis.

Q: What are some of your past experiences in the food industry?

A: I remember cooking Malt-O-Meal with my dad in the mornings for breakfast. As I got older, I had joined Boy Scouts, and we cooked all of our meals ourselves. Preparing and cooking my own way for the troop was something I looked forward to before every trip. I got a job at McDonald’s in West Duluth. A rigid work ethic to stay busy was instilled from the constant demand of the restaurant. After a year, I moved to Clyde Iron Works. I learned so much about what it takes to be a successful cook in a busy kitchen from this enormous family venue. Clyde taught me time management, preparation techniques and line cooking skills.

Q: Is there something specific you consider the signature of your business?

A: While some believe a made-from-scratch menu is a signature, I personally consider a scratch menu to be more of an expectation for genuine kitchens. I think if you can make it you should. The quality of the food is going to be a better experience for the customer if everything is made in-house. We pride ourselves on being very adaptable to the customer’s needs and consider that a signature of the Food Service.

Q: What kind of feedback have you received in the few months you’ve been open?

A: I’m often told that we make it very easy to set up food for a meeting or event. They tell me what they want, and as soon as I can, I will respond with a detailed invoice to work from. If the customer would like a special order or off-menu items, we’re always willing to be creative. My goal is to take the hassle out of daily functions and make food ordering as user-friendly as I can. Getting food should be simple, fun and easy.

Q: You’d be perfect for hosting a dinner party. If you could invite any three people — dead or alive, famous or not — to your house for dinner, who would they be and why?

A: The first guest would have to be George Lucas. His masterpiece, “Star Wars,” basically captures everything I wanted to be as a child. Lucas appears to be a smart guy, and I would love to nerd out and talk “Star Wars” with him.

Javier Bardem is a Spanish actor who played Silva (the bad guy) in the latest James Bond film, “Skyfall.” He also starred as Anton Chigurh in “No Country for Old Men.” He can play these slimy, creepy and just messed up roles so well. He plays all of his roles with great passion, and I would love to have a chance to talk with him.

I would also bring Jesus Christ to the table. Who wouldn’t want to be in His presence to ask all of the troubling questions that tax our lives? Being with the almighty before our time would truly be gift.

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