The Fork + Table
Meet Our May Featured Business:
The Fork + Table
This month we are featuring Katelyn Moore’s The Fork + Table restaurant in Northeast Harbor, winner of the inaugural Mount Desert Business Boot Camp Pitch Competition. Located right on Main Street downtown, this cozy farm-to-table spot has a dynamic menu that draws from a wide range of cultural influences. Katelyn is extremely thoughtful in how she imagines and brings her plates to life, basing dishes around the ingredients available from MDI-area farms that week. Read on to learn more about The Fork + Table and its chef-owner, Katelyn Moore.
Katelyn grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey, where her parents instilled in her an appreciation for both the diversity of cuisines available outside their door, as well as the rich satisfaction of preparing a family meal at home. From a young age, Katelyn took the process of planning, cooking, and eating meals very seriously. Her mom’s attention to detail in how she presented the family’s Sunday dinner instilled in Katelyn an appreciation for the adage that we “eat first with the eyes.”
As an adult, Katelyn had cooked in restaurants around Maine and the MDI area. Working as a private chef for clients in Mount Desert, Katelyn began to see a need for artfully-prepared comfort food that could be grabbed to go from a storefront or delivered straight to a family’s doorstep. When the time was right she made her move, opening Tasteful Tides as a catering and prepared foods kitchen in a building that had been a bank for thirteen years on Main Street. She converted the space for food service with the help of friends and family, renovating piecemeal to get the most out of her resources.
Moving into her own space and cooking under her own brand exposed Katelyn to the joys and frustrations of owning a business. At that time Tasteful Tides was effectively a one-person operation. Katelyn coordinated with clients, planned meals, negotiated with vendors, cooked, cleaned, and marketed the business, all while raising her young son. It wasn’t long before the overhead from the specialty food store and unforgiving catering schedule got to be too much. During that time she also came to recognize that preparing meals to go and catering didn’t provide the fulfillment she sought. What Katelyn really wanted was to recreate the warmth, comfort, and nourishment she felt in the family meals of her childhood in the form of a restaurant.
Now heading into her third summer at the helm of The Fork + Table, Katelyn is hitting her stride. This March she was accepted to participate in the Mount Desert Business Boot Camp, where she spent a weekend of ten-hour days developing hard business skills in customer experience design, financial analysis, business planning, strategy, and presentation, going straight from the full-day sessions to running her restaurant for the evening. That she was selected at the Pitch Competition as the Judges’ Award winner recognizes the sacrifice and commitment Katelyn has made to the community, as well as the value of a cozy dinner restaurant with high quality food open in the quiet months of the year.
At Mount Desert 365 we look forward to our next visit to The Fork + Table and sampling a beer from the tap she was able to install with her prize money from the Pitch Competition. We hope to see you there!