D'arcy Demoe is the owner of Harvest Chef Catering in Whistler, BC. He came to Big Mountain Consulting with many ideas on how to expand. He placed a huge emphasis on the desire to celebrate local businesses in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor and lift up other chefs. His goal was to create a community of chef's who could offer different services and operate on their own schedule. D'Arcy's vison also included mentioning other Whistler and Squamish businesses on his website, as well as promoting produce grown in Pemberton, which are heavily featured in his menus.
The list of services and ideas D'Arcy had were vast, this included nutritional coaching and meal prep in client's homes, managing a collection of chefs who were available for multi-day personal chef services and traditional event catering.
In addition to a booking system, D'Arcy also needed shopping cart functionality and the ability to feature his catering menus. He also required customers to answer questionnaires which were unique to the services offered.
Big Mountain Consulting got to work listing project requirements and got to work qualifying a platform, with all of the out of the box tools, that could handle all of Harvest Chef Society's business needs while coming in on budget.
D'Arcy felt strongly that any food featured on the website needed to be made by him or his team. Stock photos of food, were completely out of the question. Finding photographs was not challenging, there were many to choose from, plus, D'arcy was able to hire a professional photographer on several occasions. The photographer also gave him some tips to style and photograph real food with the use of his iPhone. As a result, a lot of the photos we used on his website were taken by D'Arcy "on the job" and incorporated into his web design with minimal photo editing.
Harvest Chef Society
The logo design for D'Arcy's original company, Harvest Catering was a created by him. Before he became a chef, he obtained a degree in graphic design and was able to create his own logo, a wheat husk using Adobe Illustrator years earlier. It was important to D'Arcy to keep the wheat in the logo, but he also wanted to create an shield that featured Whistler Mountain or Black Tusk and incorporated an element of wheat (without looking like the Alberta flag). He wanted something visually appealing that could be used on his website and on T-Shirts . So our web designer got to work studying the local mountains and their features. A large logo was created using the view from Whistler Peak Chair as inspiration. This large logo was to be used at the top of menus and on promotional materials. A small logo was also designed to be used in places where the details of the large logo would be lost, such as favicons and business cards.
When working with clients who have a lot of great ideas, project requirements are always very important to iron out early on. It's rare that a Project Manager gets to be involved in the initiation and concept phase, but when it happens, it really helps in the planning stage to help to shape the project scope and budget. The PMBOK Guide from the Project Management Institute says that the most successful projects spend the most time in the planning. This project was not exception. Communication was also key; the hours of chefs and the hours of office workers are far from being aligned. So for this project, both parties were required to be flexible in this regard. We were also in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant the project team only got to meet "in person" one time and the rest of the communication was done over, phone, email, text or virtual meeting.