Pepper Moon Case Study:
Tanger Outlets: Ground Breaking to Grand Opening
Who hasn't been to or at least heard about the new Tanger Outlet Center in Mebane, NC?! The Pepper Moon Team was very excited when asked to cater the ground breaking and, one year later, to cater the Grand Opening Events for Tanger’s newest outlet center. These events were particularly special to the Tanger Family because the new outlets would be closest to the company's headquarters in Greensboro. Pepper Moon was very proud to be chosen the caterer for these important events.
The Ground Breaking occurred in November 2009 at the future just-cleared site of the outlets. It was a clear but frigid day. The ground was rough and hard but the 100’X100’ tent was warm and inviting with a "Welcome Home" holiday theme. Governor Beverly Purdue and local dignitaries were on hand for the ceremony, which was followed by a traditional holiday meal inside the tent. Given that this was a construction site, there was no running water or heat in our attached work tent. Water access is a situation that we often encounter when catering outdoors so we are accustomed to bringing water and soap for impromptu washing stations, and dressing in layers. The menu was Pepper Moon’s traditional Holiday Meal:
European Greens with Dried Cranberries, Bourbon Pecans, and Bleu Cheese Crumbles
Bourbon & Thyme Smoked Fresh Turkey Breast
with Cranberry Chutney and Traditional Gravy
Apple-Cider Glazed Ham
Tomato Cream Soup
Southern Style Green Beans
Housemade Cornbread Dressing
Pepper Moon Signature Smashed Potatoes
Assorted Rolls with Butter
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Themed “Hammer” and “North Carolina” Cookies
The custom cookies made by Spring Garden Bakery, from cookie cutters Tanger included with their guests’ invitations, were in the shape of a hammer and of North Carolina with a red hot candy marking the outlet location in Mebane. This was a fun, themed addition to the dessert buffet.
The Grand Opening Events for Fall 2010 included an elaborate black tie Charity Gala and an Opening Ceremony and Luncheon the following day. While the Ground Breaking was a very important event, these events were significantly more intricate. For an event of this magnitude the Tanger corporate planner brought together many different event vendors, many who had never worked together. From rental company to audio visual group to caterer to florist, we all have to work and communicate in perfect timing for everything to come together. Being able to do so successfully is what makes an event magic.
The Gala was in a 100x100 foot clearspan tent, which means that the walls and top of the tent are all clear. The weather for this event wasn't just cold, it was a monsoon! As the rental company combatted leaks and the audio visual company made sure that they didn't get electrocuted, Pepper Moon was setting up the multiple food stations and moving tables and linens from one spot to the other, in order to keep them dry due to leaks. At one point the clouds broke and the sun came out. Everyone quickly learned why clearspan tents are not wise in sunny weather. The tent became a greenhouse and we all shed layers of clothes quickly. The balance of our team arrived and they began the task of distributing glass plates, silver forks, wine glasses and highballs were to two full bar stations and five food stations.
As night fell guests began arriving. They walked a red carpet complete with paparazzi and were greeted with swag bags upon entering the tent. Pepper Moon’s tuxedoed servers offered passed hors d’oeuvvres on decorated trays.
Barbequed Shrimp on Polenta
Rosemary Petite Lamb Chops
Turkey Brie Arugula Triangles
Waldorf Salad on crisp Endive Hearts
Carmelized Onion Tarts
A silent auction table was filled with items provided by the stores in the outlet as well as a stiletto signed by Stacey London of “What Not to Wear”. Guests could test their luck at The Diamond Hunt. The elaborate food stations included:
Cheese & Cold Hors d'oeuvres Station
Spinach, Artichoke and Smoked Gouda Fondue
Fig Proscuitto Flatbread
Rosemary Red Grape Flatbread with honey
Sweet African Peppers
Almond and Asparagus Brie Pinwheels
Stuffed Figs filled with Goat Cheese
Short Plate Stations
Cheesy Risotto served with a Ginger Carrot-crusted Duck Medallion on a small square vessel with a small clear fork (Guests’ Favorite!)
Thai Pesto Chicken Skewers served in a bamboo cone filled with an Asian Mango Cucumber Salad
Heavy Hors d'oeuvres Station
Petite Pork Shanks
Grilled Vegetable Display
Pan-Seared Salmon Bites with Dill Lemon Aioli
Chef Carving Station
Chef-Carved Grilled, Seasoned Tenderloin of Beef with sliced cocktail rolls and accompanying spreads
Holiday Themed Dessert Station
Bananas Flambe over raspberry swirl pound cake
Tanger shortbread cookie atop chocolate and vanilla Cupcakes with red holiday frosting
Fresh Strawberries with Chambord-laced White Chocolate Sauce, Powdered Sugar and Whipped Cream
White Chocolate Cheesecake Pops!
After the Gala, the tent had to be reset and divided for the Opening Ceremony and Luncheon the next day. The rental company worked all through the night in order for everything to be in place first thing the next morning.
It was a beautiful clear Carolina day. We loaded vans with the equipment and food needed to feed 200 guests in the tent. The staff were excited as there would be a chance to see Stacy London of “What Not To Wear”, the guest speaker for the ceremony prior to lunch. The vans were loaded and we hit the road. Timing was perfect until we got within two miles of our exit. That is when traffic stopped.
As it turned out, we were not the only ones excited about the new Tanger outlet center. The enthusiasm created through their advertising campaign caused traffic on the interstate to come to a halt. After sitting in traffic for 30 minutes, it was decided that our caravan of catering vans would use their flashers to move to the front; we had people to feed! Getting off the interstate proved to be only half the battle. State troopers had closed the entrance to the shopping center as all of the parking lots had filled up in less than 30 minutes. After a few phone calls to the powers that be, the Pepper Moon caravan was allowed entrance. We arrived on-site at the time the event was to begin! Thank goodness for the set up determined by the planner, as the ceremony was completely blocked from view from where the luncheon was to be held. Our incredibly professional service crew quickly set to work and had the event ready to go in record time.
All the obstacles that came our way for these events were never known to the guests. We thank our wonderful clients at Tanger for their confidence in Pepper Moon to take care of their catering needs for such an important event. This was another example of the magic catering can help happen... and we got our picture with Stacy London!