Ralph Smith has cooked up another business venture to join his Mine Oyster and Boat House Bistro restaurants. Smith bought Hawke Rentals from Leila Hawke, who sold the business before moving to Florida. Before COVID-19 times, Smith catered nearly 50 events per year and used Hawke Rentals to supply tables, chairs and tents. Smith’s catering business benefited greatly from a local, inexpensive service.
So when Hawke decided to sell, Smith was the first call she made. “It was always a good option for us. They had all the things we needed at a good price,” Smith said. Mine Oyster can cater an event as small as 25 to 250 or larger events with 300 guests, or corporate events with 500 guests. Before Hawke Rentals, Smith’s options were limited to more expensive out-of-town rentals. Adding the rental business to his catering enterprise provides another service for customers at an inexpensive cost.
“I have a need for this, plus it’s a perk for my customers and provides a little more money for me,” he said. Smith moved to the Boothbay region 20 years ago to work at Spruce Point Inn as an event coordinator and waiter. He bought Mine Oyster 10 years ago and Boat House Bistro 20 years ago. Smith also provides his catering service “pro-bono” to local civic groups. He is offering his catering service to Boothbay Region High School Project Graduation at no charge. “I’ve offered, but I’m not sure if they will accept (due to the pandemic),” he said.
For bookings, call Smith at 207-380-3818. He is working on creating a Mine Oyster Catering website and Facebook page.