Sally Ann Haynes was a server at the landmark Blue Bayou Restaurant at Disneyland in 1963 when a friend announced she was getting married and needed food preparation for the wedding guests. Helping a friend in need seemed the natural thing to do, and her experience in some of the most exclusive fine dining restaurants at Disneyland, including the star-studded Club 33, had properly prepared her for such an occasion. Experience and opportunity were the beginning of Sally Ann Catering.
Although cooking for a lot of people was not a problem, as she was accustomed to preparing meals for her own large family, it wasn’t long before word got around that Sally was soon catering more weddings. Customer referrals is what launched her business in 1969, and referrals are still the number one source of marketing for Sally Ann Catering today.
With her home kitchen full and her catering business continuing to grow, the responsibilities of working at Disneyland and raising a family were taking their toll, eventually tipping in favor of running her own catering kitchen in which the family could take some part. Sally Ann left Disneyland to open her first catering kitchen in an Anaheim cheese shop in 1969, and moved to their current location in Placentia in 1981.
Over the past 50 years, Sally Ann’s six daughters, Christina, Angela, Mary, Debora, Theresa, and Maude, and son, Dennis, worked in the family catering business at one time or another, each of them contributing to the rich flavor and character of the family business. Over the years, the Haynes’ family mission of creating delicious, heart-warming food met traditional Disney flair, eventually adding matching costumes for the waitstaff, ranging from the formal attire of French Maids and black-tie tuxedos, to casual Hawaiian or safari, to full costumes of gondoliers and Russian peasants. Holidays bring the most requests for snowmen, angels, and Santa’s helpers.
Sally Ann’s daughter, Christina Rice, has been integral in the growth and community connection of the business. Christina started out as a young girl washing dishes and stuffing sandwiches when she could, and after college she advanced her career in hospitality at the Marriott to get a broader perspective of the hospitality and food service industry. She returned to manage the family business and has handled all sales, and customer and community relations for the past 20 years.
Christina has been a trailblazer for women in the catering business, and is a member of several community organizations that provide food and education to those in need. They maintain excellent relationships with the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, police and fire departments, local schools, Girl Scout troops, and churches in the local area.
Part of their community outreach is mentoring young women in the hospitality and catering industry. “In the past decade, we have mentored eight young women into the Hospitality or Hotel Industry fields, provided internships through local high schools to young women seeking experience, and an externship program for the Le Cordon Bleu institute for young women chefs,” says Christina.
Now during a time where group events have temporarily ceased due to mandated social distancing regulations, they have recently found a niche in providing meals of distinction for people wishing to enjoy fine dining at home. In addition to providing high quality daily meals for doorstep delivery, Sally Ann Catering is now welcoming orders for distinguished tastes with “upper shelf” menus of epicurean selections not found elsewhere.
Browse their menu online at sallyanncatering.com, and place orders by calling 714-779-1260.