Crafting Memories Since 1994
About Us
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Award Winning Chefs
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Awards
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Years of Experience
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Catered Events
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Catered Guests

Black Woods Catering is a locally-owned, award-winning catering company based out of Duluth, Minnesota using seasonal ingredients to create unique and customizable fare paired with five-star service. Our planning team is excited to work with you to craft and dream up ways to ‘WOW’ your guests during event moment of their experience with us.

Since the early 90’s, Black Woods Catering has been the #1 Caterer in the Northland, serving over 700,000 people at over 5,000 catered events across Minnesota and Wisconsin. We offer endless catering menu options, from gourmet plated meals to hors d’ oeuvres receptions, beverage and bar services to custom created buffets. From customized menus to budget details, we will work with you to create a lasting memory. Our services go beyond food – we offer assistance with linen rentals, set-up details, delivery and more!

Looking for the latest in food and beverage trends? Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free requests are just the start for us! We take every request and make it unforgettable for every single guest that attends. You ask and we’ll find a way!

making your event a success
Meet the Team

Adrienne Grover

, Sales Director

I am a true Northland girl – born and raised here in the Duluth Area on our Family Farm out in the Blackhoof Area! I am originally from the small town of Wrenshall, MN, where I graduated in 2006 and then attended Chippewa Valley Technical College in River Falls WI and Eau Claire WI and graduated with an Associates of Applied Science in Business Management. Some of my interests outside of my career include refereeing high school basketball! You may see me on the court at any school in Minnesota or northern Wisconsin! I also love to be out on the local bike trails and you can most certainly find me at my favorite CrossFit Box on Garfield Ave – Ariel Athletics! Being active outside of work is a huge piece of who I am! My professional background is extensive in Exceptional Customer Service, Leadership Development and a true passion for event planning. Throughout my late teen years and twenties, I was honored to help plan and coordinate many life events for family and friends. Which I believe, has truly driven my passions and interests to bring me to this incredible opportunity to be a part of the Black Woods Group Family. I’ve always loved being a part of peoples most extraordinary life moments and going the extra mile to give their events a personal touch that leaves that lasting impression. The Black Woods Group team has embraced me, and I truly feel a part of the family! My goal is to pass that along to all of our guests! It is a privilege to work with our team, and absolutely a privilege to work with all of you!


Ben Thoen

, Executive Chef

Ben Thoen grew up in Washburn, WI and after graduating from Washburn High School attended Le Cordon Bleu. Classically trained during school, Chef Thoen had the opportunity to work under very accomplished chefs his entire career, beginning at a young age. His first job at the age of 13 was with Good Thyme Bistro in Washburn working with Chef Chris Basnia who launched him into everything hospitality.

His fondest memories of his early career are of working with French Chef Germain Palledeau learning the ins and outs of the business of food and honing in his catering and banquet skills in Chicago, IL for Lettuce Entertain You and Wolfgang Puck Catering. Chef most recently had the opportunity to train in Miami Beach, FL and earn his Vegan & Raw Chef Certification with Vegan Fusion ™. Chef Thoen is very happy once again back home in the Midwest after having lived across the country and could not be more proud than to work with the Black Woods Group. As Executive Chef, he leads the restaurant location kitchens and works side by side with the creative sales teams, skilled general managers and the powerful support teams that make up the Black Woods Group.


Gina Cardinal

, Catering Head Chef

Gina Cardinal came to Black Woods from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  She graduated from Ironwood High School, and Johnson & Wales Culinary University in South Carolina.  Gina has spent many years working coast to coast, gaining experience in multiple areas of Culinary, and Pastry, Industry.  Classically trained, her talents come from a long line of chefs, and bakers, in her family, and has always known that becoming a Chef was her career path.

Large Scale food production has always been a love of hers.  The opportunity to work for a multi-million-dollar catering company, out of Lexington Kentucky, opened the flood gate.  Assisting in catering high class events like the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Three Day event, The Olympics, numerous PGA, LPGA, celebrity fund raisers, professional sporting events and weddings, there is not much this girl has not conquered during her career. Assisting Chef Ben, as well as the Planning and Marketing Teams, in bringing exceptional food to Black Woods Group clients, is her daily pleasure.


Jessica Van Damme

, Director of Operations & Events

My name is Jessica Van Damme. I recently married my loving husband, with whom I have one incredible boy, Kyle. I’m originally from Glencoe, Minnesota, but moved to Duluth about seven years ago. It is here that I have found a “home” in which to grow my family and to create lasting memories. If I’m not at work, I’m likely outdoors. Summers are spent at the lake with my husband and son. I grew up fishing every weekend with my family and for me, there is no better therapy than the calm of the lake and a fishing pole in my hand.

I previously worked at the Greysolon Ballroom and it is there that I found my passion for catering and customer service. Now, as the Director of Operations & Events for Black Woods Catering, I am very honored to be able to pursue my passion every day, as I help others create their special moments and memories. I am very fortunate to work with the people of Black Woods Group family and look forward to meeting you!


Katy Boley

, Sales and Events Manager

My name is Katy Boley. I am originally from Faribault, Minnesota, where I lived with my parents and older sister. I made the move to Duluth in 2013 right after I graduated high school. I decided to attend the University of Minnesota Duluth out of love for the city, as I used to visit every summer as a child. I first started working for Proctor Black Woods in September 2014 as a banquet server after being a certified lifeguard for 6 years. It was change of pace and before long I realized I’d found my passion in the Catering Industry.

In the spring of 2016 I moved into the Event Manager position. And, shortly after, in the Spring of 2017, I was promoted to Sales and Event Manager and started working directly with clients to help plan and build their events. It is because of Black Woods Group family that I recently made the exciting decision to stay in Duluth and work full time for the company that I’ve come to love. Please say hello next time you’re in the Proctor location. I can’t wait to meet you!

Black Woods Group

Black Woods Catering is a member of the Black Woods Group.  Locally-owned and family-operated since the early 90’s, we take great pride in treating our guests like family and serving our community through fundraising programs; donations and contributions; and grassroots, hands on involvement with local organizations that share our commitment to giving back.  Our support of all things local doesn’t end with our community work.  That’s why we partner with a variety of Minnesota and Wisconsin companies throughout the year to ensure that as our menu changes with the seasons, it remains filled with the healthy, farm-fresh, and organic ingredients that you’ve come to expect from Black Woods.

So, from our family to yours, we look forward to serving you! We hope you love our food as much as we love preparing and serving it.

Meet our family...