Popular owner of Occasions Catering (one of Denver’s oldest catering companies), Jeremy Bronson was actually born at Rose Hospital in Denver to Marion and Edward Bronson in 1967 even though the family moved to Chico, California in 1969. Jeremy who always has had a strong interest in the political system, worked for Senator Bob Graham in Washington, D.C. as a legislative advisor from 1988 through 1994 where he met his lovely wife Kristin Merritt (who officially takes over as City Attorney of Denver this year on October 17th, after years of being a law partner at Lewis, Roca, Rothgerber, & Christie.) The couple moved to Boulder after D.C. so Kristin could attend law school at CU, and the couple married in Boulder.
Jeremy went on to work for then Governor Roy Romer, and from there he worked in the computer tech field until 2005. Bronson was then recruited to work for Mayor John Hickenlooper as a Special Assistant for Public Safety implementing major positive changes in the Denver Police Department.
After hearing his wife say that he was a “natural entrepreneur” – and knowing that he always has been a “foodie” and loved to cook and entertain - he became the co-owner, along with David Tenenbaum, of Occasions Catering after David’s parents Sandy and Barry decided to retire from the business.
Jeremy had to learn a whole new industry, but judging from how successful he has been with Occasions since 2008, he’s a natural! Jeremy is known as a respected, effective manager with a highly creative side who understands business and is a great relationship builder.
I especially love the quote on the Occasions website which sums up a lot about Jeremy and who he is: “Catering means being included in the most important events in people’s lives. For our community partners that means helping them raise money to serve people in need. In our business, we are instrumental to these fundraising events’ success, and we take no greater pride in our work than in the contributions we make to non-profit organizations.”
Jeremy is on the board of the non-profit “We Don’t Waste” which is near and dear to him because of their mission to fight hunger and not let food go to waste. Statistics show that 40% of our food supply gets thrown away. “We Don’t Waste” partners with numerous local food suppliers and delivers unused food to many charities like the Denver Rescue Mission, Food Bank of the Rockies, etc.
I found Jeremy Bronson to be an enlightened human being who loves getting to know people and what they are all about…. Just a generally nice person who cares about doing the right thing.
When I asked Jeremy what he wanted people to know about him he said: “I want to be able to hold my head high no matter where I go, knowing I can be proud of who I am and what I am doing for my family and our community.”
(You can contact Jeremy for your catering needs or upcoming holiday parties at: 303-789-1867; or through Occasion’s website: www.occasionsdenver.com)
Being in the food biz, what are your favorite restaurants in Denver?
The best meal I’ve had in Denver was at Potager. Overall, I think the prolific chefs like Troy Guard, Jennifer Jasinski, Frank Bonanno and a few others have gotten where they are by producing amazing food across different cuisines and food styles. It takes remarkable talent to achieve at their level. TAG, Rioja, and Mizuna are my favorites of their portfolios.
What makes Occasions different from other caterers?
Having been in business since 1970, we approach every relationship like it will last a lifetime. We really care about our clients and their guests, our employees, and our partners, and it shows in everything we do.
How competitive is the catering business in Denver?
Hospitality is always competitive, but Denver is growing so quickly that there’s lots of opportunity. We stay focused on our brand and being the best we can at what we do, and we’re fortunate to continue to grow with that strategy.
How has Occasions changed through the years?
We’re the longest-serving caterer in Denver, founded in 1970, so we’ve changed tremendously through the years. We’re always evolving, whether it’s innovative food displays, new methods to create restaurant-quality food without having a restaurant on-site, or building an amazing team of event staff.
How have you personally changed since you have been in this business?
I’ve become acutely aware of my personal strengths and weaknesses, which gives me confidence in the things I do well and comfort letting go of the things others do better than I.
What charitable events do you look forward to attending each year?
Biz Bash has always been one of my favorites. It was the original dress-down and un-stuff the stuffy charity event, and I always love the bands they bring in. I also love seeing all the great achievements in our community at events like the Downtown Denver Partnership Awards Dinner and Historic Denver’s dinner.
Tell us about your involvement with “We Don’t Waste?”
Waste is a necessary evil in the events business, so we have a responsibility to do all we can to minimize the waste we generate. We Don’t Waste gets very high quality food to people who need it most – over 20 million servings so far this year! I’ve been involved almost from the beginning and am privileged to chair the board of directors for the next two years.
What do you love most about Denver?
I always say Denver is the best city in America not to be from – meaning we welcome everyone from everywhere. If you’re committed to working hard to build our community, you can get involved right away, even at a leadership level. That creates an incredibly dynamic environment in which to work, volunteer, and socialize.
What should all of us be working on these days to make our country better for future generations?
We should all work to restore civility and the art of compromise to the American dialog, so we can make progress on issues like environmental protection and access to economic opportunity.
How do you find balance in your busy life?
I do two things to seek balance: (1) I constantly assess how I’m allocating my time and try to rebalance when one priority is taking too much time, and (2) I try my damndest to focus on one thing at a time and give all my attention to the activity I’m on right now.
What is something you still want to learn how to do?
I want to learn to weld. I love to build equipment that we use at Occasions for food and beverage display and décor, and knowing how to weld would give me a great new tool for the design and construction of our display items.
Jeremy, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I start my five-year plan over again every year!
How do you want to be remembered?
All I really care about is that people think I’m a nice and considerate person. If I get to be remembered as funny too, that’s a bonus.