Food for Thought – Super Sister and Circle the City’s 10th Annual Garden Tea

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Truth: Being a caterer is hard work that involves arduous hours, often beginning in the middle of the night or ending in the wee hours of the morning. But there is an extensive list of perks that make the dark circles under the eyes worth it. At times, I have to pinch myself to remind me that yes, I actually did pass through the iris scan of the high-tech facility of Taser International and yes, I really did stand in the kitchen of a gigantic home that I could swear Frank Lloyd Wright himself could have designed, complete with ten car garage and helicopter parked inside. This is just a small sampling of some of the incredible venues at which Amici was fortunate enough to cater. However, occasions like the Super Bowl, birthday bashes, and of course, many amorous couples tying the knot are just as much fun. But last weekend, for the second consecutive year, we catered an event that continues to tug on our heartstrings, as it is a tremendous story of humanity banding together to bring a dream into reality.

The story of Circle the City sounds like it could be a documentary that has gone viral with Oprah’s help. I’m sure the film would be titled, Supersister – The True Story of a God loving Physician who built a Respite Center. The protagonist is our local hero, Adele O’Sullivan, who during her service as medical director of the central Phoenix Homeless Shelter, dreamed a colossal dream: to build a local medical respite center where homeless men and women can recover from injury and illness in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. Organically, word spread of Sister Adele’s mission and work. Donations started coming in and religious/philanthropic organizations began asking how they could help. This brings us to the Circle the City Tea (where we come in), which is an equally inspiring story! Eleven years ago, a local Catholic MOMS (Ministry of Mothers Sharing) club of 12 women was approached to orchestrate a fundraiser for Sister Adele’s cause. Sister Adele’s “12 disciples” (as she affectionately refers to the cadre) quickly decided to host a Spring Tea, and much to their surprise, 160 of the 200 people invited attended! Ten years later, the event continues to grow at an incredible rate (we served 554 guests this year). So, from humble beginnings as a simple dream, the earnest efforts of a nun-physician, the tenacity of 12 heart-centered women (and countless other contributors), a partnership with Hospice of the Valley was established, and in 2012 Sister Adele’s vision of a respite center came to fruition.

As expected, the event was gorgeous and included the iconic decor of an afternoon tea – our favorite touch being the collection of mismatched teapots, tea cups and saucers that have loving been procured and stored by the “12 disciples” over the last ten years. This year, we added our own special flair to the auction tent – our 360 degree table. Part functionality, part costume (a server is positioned in a center cutout and her costume flows seamlessly into the tablescape), the 360 degree table creates the look that we lovingly refer to as the Barbie in the cake table.” Good sport, Whitney, was adorned in her finest hostess apron while serving handcrafted raspberry pop tarts from Bertha’s Café!

When the last dish was packed up, our aching feet reminded us of the homeless population that have a tender spot in our hearts. But we also felt our own connection to Adele’s story when seven years ago, we dreamed our biggest dream and decided to follow our passion and embark on the creation of Amici Catering (and a team that is like family) in a way that was synonymous to the way we live – ethically, community consciously, and always from the heart.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.


Harriet Tubman