About Debra

Who is Debra?

Debra's story in her own words

My children grew up with family meals. Every night at 5:30pm, my youngest daughter would set the table, my son would clear the table, and my oldest daughter would load and start the dishwasher. There was a routine, and it continued for many, many years. Sometimes the house changed, sometimes the city changed, and sometimes the jobs my husband Gary and I had would change. Regardless of those changes, our family of five sat down to a home-cooked meal every night at 5:30pm. As the kids got older and busier, we had to adjust. Scholar Bowl, soccer, gymnastics, church and school functions, and all the other tiny pieces of the puzzle had to be fit together in just the right way. It was harder to hit that 5:30 deadline, it was harder to have all five of us present, and it was harder to accommodate some of the pickier eaters in our bunch.

The dwindling of our dinnertime tradition is sad

but not uncommon.

Families like ours were so busy all the time that they didn’t have time to all eat at the same time! A shared meal between family has always been one of my favorite things. It’s a simple engagement that can mean so much. Everyone is sharing a table, a meal, and most importantly, their time. When Gary was laid off in 2005, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try to help busy families find the time to sit down. Offering a variety of home-cooked meals at unbeatable prices, the business took off in November. By January, Gary was back at work and so was I! Building a business from the ground up is no joke, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. As the business grew, so did my menu. I catered my first wedding in 2007, and I’ve loved the world of event catering ever since. Traditional event catering is very strict and structured, which doesn’t leave much freedom for creativity and change. Prices are high, numbers have to be specific, and the client doesn’t always get a lot of choice. My experience with traditional catering companies was what led me to where I am today: a caterer that wants your event to look, smell, and taste the way you imagined it. As a small business, Debra’s Kitchen has the luxury of tweaking your menu, answering your questions quickly, and being there when you need us. There’s no toll-free number or waiting on hold. Every employee of Debra’s Kitchen is a member of the Smith-Rouner family, and we all have the same mission: to bring you the same quality meal that we grew up enjoying.