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

Black Woods Group 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 Group 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

Molly Nett

, Sales Director

Molly Nett started her career with the events industry at an internship in college and has loved learning and growing as trends change throughout time. Her most recent experience was her four years with D’Amico Catering, where she started as an assistant and ended as a Senior Catering Coordinator. This led to a Catering Sales Manager position for wedding and special events at the Guthrie Theater. One year later, Molly – along with her high school sweetheart and their two beautiful daughters – made the decision to move closer to where she grew up. Duluth was the perfect fit. In planning the move, Molly knew she wanted to work for the best in the area, and she quickly found her home with us. She loves connecting with people and has made a wonderful addition to our group.

When not at the office, you can find Molly enjoying time out on the lake or at the mall searching for her next on-trend, fashionable outfit. Wherever she goes, there is a warm smile on her face. We have loved getting to know Molly, and you will too!

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.

Jessica Van Damme

, Operations

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 Group, 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!