Cured Catering has two simultaneous expansions in the works, one in Jacksonville and one in Buffalo.
Brian Reilly and his wife, Melissa, started the business in March 2017. In September 2021, the business relocated to 3086 Normandy Road in Springfield as part of a contract with Chip Kennedy to purchase the real estate and all assets from 5 Flavors and Secret Recipes. Reilly told SBJ later that year that he was doing as many as six weddings a day in September and October after taking on events that the other companies had scheduled, in addition to Cured Catering’s events.
However, Reilly said, “Things didn’t work out the way we wanted with that situation,” and so the couple began looking for a new space.
“A lot of the real estate that was available was restaurant-based, and for an operation like ours, it would take a lot of investment for it to work correctly,” he said. The couple, who live in Mechanicsburg, decided to expand their search to outlying areas as well. “We thought if we could find an old church or school, it might have a big enough kitchen facility to house what we would need,” Reilly explained.
Cured Catering purchased the former Risen Savior Lutheran Church in Buffalo and will be converting the space to an event, wedding and live music venue that will operate under the name The Bullard Country Chapel. It will include a commercial catering kitchen, event space for 200 guests and an outdoor courtyard.
Plans call for having the Buffalo location open by early 2023, but Reilly said Cured Catering needed to find a headquarters in the meantime. “Construction takes a while, and we needed an immediate move.”
As a former student and alumni board member of MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Reilly said he knew the campus well and decided to reach out to Mike Hayes. “I knew he had purchased a good chunk of the campus,” he said, referring to the auction that was held in 2020 after the college closed.
The Reillys ended up signing a lease for the former McClelland Dining Hall and Annie Merner Chapel. Reilly said, “They’re not only big enough for us to operate out of at this time, but it has a chapel and venue of its own. It makes that much more sense for us.”
Reilly said the move has taken place over the last few weeks and Cured Catering is fully operational in the new Jacksonville location.
“We hope that having both facilities can help us have a little bit broader spread in the central Illinois area,” he said. “Things all fell into place at one time.”