The Happy Everything Catering story starts long before Allyson and
I established our catering store in 2005. It starts before Allyson
decided to jump off her corporate career path and start catering on
her own in 2001. It even starts before we met each other at Indiana
University. The story really begins with Allyson’s childhood.
You see, Allyson grew up in the grocery business. Her family
owned and operated the Atlas Supermarket, located on Indianapo-
lis’ north side in Broad Ripple, for over 60 years. Atlas was truly a
one-of-a-kind grocery store and, yes, it’s the one that David Letter-
man worked at as a teenager.
Being part of a family business, especially as a youngster,
typically means doing a lot of different things. Allyson was no differ-
ent. Stocking shelves, sweeping floors, handling ‘clean up in aisle
7’, you name it. For Allyson, probably due to her outgoing nature,
most of her time was spent running the cash registers. While she
loved the interaction with customers, she was drawn to the deli.
She explains it best, “I was always fascinated by our deli operation
and all the preparation and care that went into making the dishes
and crafting those wonderful deli trays.”
After convincing her Uncle Sid, Allyson finally got to work in the
deli. She proceeded to learn as much as she could from the other
cooks. According to Allyson, “I’d get in early so I could pick the
dishes I wanted to make and I’d usually take on the most compli-
cated one. I took extra care making these dishes, not because
Atlas had the reputation. No, I did it because I knew the people
these dishes were for and I cared about them.”
Atlas Supermarket was truly a labor of love for Allyson and her
family. “I loved watching the way customers responded to my
family and was so proud of our uncompromising attention to detail,
our service and the taste.” It left a lasting impression and although
the legendary landmark is gone, those same traits are the corner-
stone of Happy Everything.
Even our name came about because of Allyson’s Atlas heritage.
People from many religious and ethnic backgrounds shopped at the
store and having customers who celebrated such a diverse array of
holidays, Allyson frequently greeted them by saying “Happy Chris-
mahanakwanzaa”. That eventually turned into “Happy Everything”.
So when it came to naming the business, it was simple. It had to be
Happy Everything.
While it’s not unusual for a married couple to own and operate a
business, it takes two people who truly complement each other to
do it well. Allyson and I are fortunate enough to have such a rela-
tionship. I handle mainly the business and logistics [that’s a fancy
way of saying delivery] side of Happy Everything and that allows
Allyson to concentrate on the food.
Catering to us is about treating people better. We want to keep our
customers intrigued and add that element of a happy surprise to
everything we do. While Happy Everything caters to large gather-
ings, Allyson and I both believe that serving large numbers of
people should never be about filling bellies. It should be about
adding zest and life to the whole experience, no matter what the
occasion. As Allyson always says and I whole-heartedly agree,
“Great food has a way of lifting everyone’s spirits.”
We look forward to continuing to surprise and delight our growing
number of customers. If you want unique style and great taste
without all the pomp and circumstance, Happy Everything Catering
is for you.
Clay Milender