Ridgewells Catering, founded in 1928, has catered more than 16 presidential inaugurations, along with other prominent events ranging from the U.S. Open Golf Championships to the Super Bowl and has been headquartered in Bethesda for over 45 years.
“We’ve done inauguration since [Franklin] Roosevelt,” said Lacz. “We have a very long list of companies that we do business with, people, government and personal and social and corporate.”
For nearly a century, Ridgewells Catering, based in Bethesda, has been a staple to the Washington, D.C. catering and has grown to cater to clientele as prominent as the president of the United States. The business announced in 2019 the decision to renovate its multi-building location which has now progressed to its next phase.
“I think with any company, large or small or whatever, having a good work environment is also important for productivity, collaboration, employee morale,” said Ridgewells Catering executive Susan Lacz. “We have been in very old offices for a very long time, and we were not all under one roof or our space was just so old and desperately needed renovation.”
Before the company’s 2019 renovation announcement, it recognized the need for significant upgrades and started looking for a new facility including buildings inside and outside Montgomery County. Ultimately, the search confirmed the advantage of its Bethesda location at 5525 Dorsey Lane, according to the release.
Plans to break ground on the renovations in 2020 were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lacz said the renovations started this year and took 10 months to complete.
On Dec. 7, the catering business announced the grand opening of the newly renovated Bethesda headquarters, located on Dorsey Lane, with a ribbon cutting celebration.
The ribbon cutting celebrated first phase, which included renovations of the offices, laundry and linen room.
“We broke down all the walls of those three buildings and ended up with a beautiful 9,000 square foot office building and totally put new windows in,” Lacz said. “Everything got stripped down to the two by fours, new roof, new HVAC, everything is state of the art electrical, efficient, more energy saving utilities in here.”
The next part of the renovation, which is currently in the planning phase, will include the kitchen of the facility in another building on the other side of the street opposite the building with the offices. Lacz said she’s hoping for the second phase of renovations to be complete by summer 2024.
With the renovations, Lacz said she hopes the company can continue to be a part of history in the region.
“There’s not many companies that can say they’ve been in business since 1928 and this is a locally-owned company,” she said. “It’s important, I think, to support locally owned companies, not these larger big box kind of companies or food service companies that come in and we’re American. I feel that we’ve been a staple in the greater Washington community since 1928 and everybody’s got a story about Ridgewells that I run into.”