You’ll Wanna Lick the Spoon!
06 Aug 2022
A spoon-licking dynamic duo’s twist on catering & meal delivery from a shared kitchen
By Crissy Neville » Photos by Melissa Souto
While Kentucky Fried Chicken is finger-lickin’ good, a popular foodservice business in Moore County has a following of spoon lickers, in name and, a safe bet, reality. The chefs at Spoon Lickers Catering & Meal Delivery, located at 207 South McNeill Street in Carthage, have been creating and serving scratch-made meals and food products with fresh, high-quality ingredients since 2018. A unique four-part approach gives their small business an ever-expanding reach.
Leading Spoon Lickers, a local kitchen start-up with the slogan “Food So Good You’ll Wanna Lick the Spoon,” are Chefs Ivory Mulholland and Jennifer Karlowicz, two military spouses who moved here with their active-duty husbands seven to nine years ago, respectively. With 40 years of combined experience in a variety of food and service industries, ranging from fine dining to rustic and local, they have created a multi-faceted food preparation enterprise able to make any event excellent.
Large or small, they do it all.
Chefs Ivory and Jennifer plan custom meals and party platters for special occasions such as weddings, birthday parties, promotion ceremonies, office lunches, graduation celebrations and more. With catering available throughout Moore County and on Fort Bragg, they offer eclectic menus to suit every taste, including southern-style, BBQ, Tex-Mex, Italian, Greek and classic meals. While example menus are available for customers’ consideration, the culinary team is also happy to customize to make selections fit specific wants and needs.
Of their offerings, Ivory says, “We offer a lot of culturally influenced foods, Asian, Mediterranean-style and the like. Being originally from Alaska, I'm pretty heavily influenced by Pacific Northwest cuisine. I love cooking seafood and using seasonal vegetables. My business partner is from the Midwest, so she leans a little more towards comfort foods, carbs and heavier meat items. But, then we kind of meet somewhere in the middle.”
In addition to the catering services, Spoon Lickers is known for its boutique meal delivery with mouth-watering weekly options and contactless delivery right to local doorsteps. Patrons simply log on to the Spoon Lickers website and select the “order meal delivery” drop-down tab to view the menus and make selections. The easy-to-follow directions guide patrons to choose from Keto, W30/Paleo and Flex meal plans — with explanations for each included — to get started on eating fresh, locally sourced-and-prepared food selections. Subcategories include dairy-free, family-friendly, family-style comfort food, gluten-free, pescatarian, vegan and vegetarian. Don’t forget desserts!
Spoon Lickers provides free delivery on orders of $100 or more, with a minimum order of $45, before delivery. The normal schedule is for patrons to order by Saturday night and enjoy meal home delivery on Tuesday. While she and Jennifer are not nutritionists, Ivory says the goal of their meal delivery business is “to make life easier for their customers and to be a ‘tool in their life kit’ when making decisions regarding mental and physical wellness.”
“We strive to provide you with tasty fresh foods that fit into the best style of eating for you. We want you to feel nourished and satisfied after every meal,” they explain.
Tasty is defined by many customers as the entrees of Pistachio Pesto-Crusted Salmon and Beef Stroganoff, two of Spoon Licker’s most reordered meal choices for delivery. At the same time, Cheesy Shrimp and Grits Cakes, Pimento Cheese Stuffed Bacon and Potato Skins and Peach Bourbon Barbecue Pulled Pork Sliders are the hands-down favorites among the catering party platters.
In recently becoming a commissary kitchen, the narrative of Spoon Lickers gets even more interesting. This third chapter of the chefs’ repast repertoire is where the co-owners’ story comes full circle; Ivory and Jennifer first met in a Southern Pines’ shared kitchen early in their Moore County careers.
Commissary or shared kitchens are established commercial-grade kitchens, used per health department requirements, in which foodservice providers can safely and legally prepare, cook and store food and equipment — without owning and maintaining the facility themselves.
“We were both formerly renting space in a commissary kitchen and doing our own thing, but our jobs would often overlap,” Ivory said. “After a few months of renting and chatting about how much money we were spending on rent, we decided to branch out and get our own kitchen. From there, it wasn’t long before we formed Spoon Lickers.”
In January, the business partners accessed space adjacent to Spoon Lickers and opened it as a fully certified, licensed and insured shared kitchen. They offer different levels of contracts and are happy to give new foodservice start-ups mentorship and advice — if requested.
“While we share an oven with the renters, we provide two six-burner stoves, three propane stoves, tons of cooking space, individual stainless-steel tables, bakers racks for storage along with designated refrigerator space,” said Ivory. “We want to make it as easy, smooth and beneficial to our renters as possible. Our goals are for them to succeed and our business to grow.”
Spoon Lickers currently has five shared kitchen occupants: two food trucks, Bayou in the Pines and Xavi Davi; one charcuterie business, Amazing Graze; a baker, Sweet Dixie Delights; and Miss Kellie’s Jellies.
Finally, Spoon Lickers retails its nutritious and delicious snack mixes and energy balls recipes. Look for these ready-to-eat products inside Southern Pines’ Forte Fitness, Workhorse Fitness and Yoga and Southern Pines Brewing Taproom, The Village Wine Shop in Pinehurst and Twigg & Co. in Aberdeen.
Spoon Lickers is where choice and convenience meet culinary excellence, deliciously and innovatively.