Massachusetts Bay Trading Co.
Andrea Mason: The New England Baklava Company
Andrea Mason began her catering and gourmet food business in January 2000. Her product line began with dishes made with a special phyllo dough recipe. Her most popular product, especially here in Massachusetts, has been the unique New England Baklava™.
Originally from New York City, Andrea earned her BA in Social Science at Fordham University. In 1975, she arrived in Massachusetts to study at Northeastern University and has stayed here ever since. Andrea received an M. Ed. in counseling from Northeastern. She has since taken business courses and cooking classes at a number of well-known culinary schools.
"I had lived in New York City up until 1975, and thought there was no better city in the world," says Andrea. "Well, I was wrong." She now lives west of Boston in a small quintessential New England community, complete with a town common and white steepled church at the town center.
Andrea worked in Massachusetts' high tech industry for 16 years, but had always loved to cook, and for many years harbored a desire to start a small, "funky" restaurant. The Catering by Dinner is Served business has satisfied that desire. Now Andrea and her life partner, who is also self-employed, make their own schedules and have created a good balance between work life and home life.
"Many people are surprised to hear that my graduate degree is in counseling," says Andrea. "Being able to listen to clients, helping them verbalize what they really want when they're planning an event is an important aspect of the caterer's job. Of course, we know how to cook -- that's a given. But our main task is to transform the client's dream into reality. And that means being a good listener. I think every caterer should have a degree in counseling!"