Jonathan Boncek

Thurston Southern Catering is rolling out a new service that aims to assist individuals and families in need of healthy, wholesome meals while they try to stay safe at home. Rosebay, which launched last week, offers prepared meals along with grocery items like Geechie Boy grits and Storey Farm eggs.

“About six months ago, we identified a need for more restaurant-style catering,” says chef Nathan Thurston. “I saw a shift in the market where demand was becoming heavier on restaurants for smaller events.” Although the idea for Rosebay was established before the coronavirus, Thurston says that the intricate parts were developed post-outbreak. “I saw the writing on the wall that social events and gatherings were going to be put on pause for awhile. We needed to find a way to pivot our business, and we are lucky we have the equipment and team to do so.”

Rosebay offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, providing a one-stop-shop for those looking to stay safe at home. Family meals that feed four include entrees like roasted chicken pot pie, steakhouse chili, and make-at-home taco kits.

The name Rosebay is often given to the first plant to grow after a forest fire, making it a fitting title at a time when many hope that something great can be born out of this difficult period in history. Thurston hopes to do the moniker justice by giving back to the Charleston community. “For every transaction, a portion of the proceeds goes to feeding people in need,” explains Thurston. “We just dropped off three meals for a North Charleston family stranded in a hotel.” Thurston also plans to use local purveyors like Geechie Boy Mill, Rosebank Farms, Limehouse Produce, and Tarvin Seafood who are receiving fewer orders following several recent restaurant closures.

Although this concept is starting in the midst of a pandemic, Thurston says he plans to keep it around moving forward. “We have positioned this portion of the catering company to still offer meals for purchase once this thing is over. We will also still give back to the community in the future.”

Rosebay orders can be made online by 2 p.m. the day before pick up and deliveries, which are made between 12 and 6 p.m. 

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