Wednesday, April 26, 2017
INTERVIEW: Jess R. Ohana-Reta
Jess is involved in lot of things…catering, being a DJ, life insurance and most importantly, her relationship with Christy. The two are married and have had a long relationship. When I sat down to do an interview with Jess, Christy was front and center. They work together in life and business, and I set out to find out what drives Jessica and what services she offers.
How did you get into catering?
First and foremost I would not be the woman I am today without the love, support and willingness to help me succeed in my love for all things scratch made by my amazing, strong, kind, passionate for life wife Christy. We have been Us for 17 years now and she continues to threaten me with a good time every day.
My Love for cooking comes from my sister Sandra and Brother in Law Bern. Sandra inspired me to cook with passion and my Brother in Law showed me to respect the ingredients and to make beautiful appetizing food. I began cooking for local and Bay Area nonprofit events over 15 years ago and as the events grew in numbers so did my reputation as a chef.
What was the biggest hurdle you had getting started in catering?
Becoming a "caterer" was a natural and easy progression for me, my love to cook for others was never a hurdle. I suppose because I primarily cooked for non profit events it was always volunteer work until I was asked to cater a private party. Then came the hard part, what do I charge for my labor? I sometimes still find it difficult to quote a price as I believe you don't need a sliver fork to eat good food.
What is your specialty?
I enjoy preparing and smoking different meats and poultry, Italian dishes are my favorite but I would be remiss if I didn't go back to my roots of being in the kitchen with my sister making sabroso (Delish) Mexican Inspired dishes.
Do you tailor the food to the client or do you have set menus?
Absolutely, our clients events are sometimes the most important day of their lives. We coordinate and work with our clients on different menu's that compliment their event theme and budget.
What events can people reach out to you to provide services for?
I also DJ so we have provided food and or music for every occasion.
We have catered Weddings, Anniversaries, Birthday's, Retirement, Office Events, Baby Showers, Quinceanera's, Christmas Parties, New Years Eve, Celebrations of lives
How much lead time do you need?
2 months is ideal but If we are available at least 3 days to prepare.
What are the busy times of the year?
October/November has proven to be popular wedding months here in the Central Valley but every month there is always something to celebrate which is beautiful thing.
What is the biggest misconception people have about having a caterer handle an event for them?
Adding 25 guests for dinner the day of the their event.
What would be your number one suggestion for people when planning an event?
Plan on 25 more guests
What is your favorite type of event to cater?
Any celebration when food is involved makes me happy; if I had to choose surprise party's are my favorite.
Do you work with nonprofits and/or community fundraising events?
Yes, one of the most fun and rewarding blessings in my life. I love to give back what was once given to me. I am a member of a 12 step program and aside from meetings and sponsorship, events such as the ones I am involved in to date saved my life 27 years ago and continue to do so.
Do you combine your DJ duties with your catering services?
Yes, we do love to throw a party. We are somewhat of a one stop shop.
What is included in your DJ services?
We provide an amazing selection of music from House, Country, Mexican, Pop, R&B, Old School, Rock & Salsa. I DJ with a sound and music mixer, ample speakers, sound sensitive laser lights & fog machine. I also MC through out the evening.
You also work in the life insurance field. How do people reach out to you for those services?
I am a life/financial advisor and agent for New York Life in the local Fresno office. I provide protection and financial security for individuals, families and businesses by walking them through their life benefit options. New York Life hired me as an open and out person of the LGBTQ community. As an agent it is important to me to help others get their thoughts in line with their intentions.
Where can people find you online?
oh-red catering on facebook or
What is your life motto? What words do you live by?
At the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say "I used everything you gave me"