YEAR FOUNDED: 1989
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: Two crews of eight, plus dishwashers and linen staff, so roughly 20
TOP OFFICIALS: Art Hoover, owner; Art Hoover III
WHAT DOES THE COMPANY DO WITH REGARD TO FILM: Hoover: “As the chef for the cast and crew of each production, I have to adapt for special requests and dietary needs, while making sure that a variety of food is provided to suit everyone. Everything is cooked fresh every day. Following filming on location, I have to always be ready to move if needed.”
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THIS BUSINESS? Hoover: “I was hired as a chef to work for DEG [De Laurentiis Entertainment Group] studios. I purchased all my catering equipment and started my own company in 1989. I also ran a full-service restaurant at the 23rd Street studio lot. This business has taken me all over the country, [working on everything] from Doc Hollywood in Florida to Mighty Ducks in Minnesota, from New York City to Los Angeles. I had a base of operation on the West and East coasts.”
ANY MEMORABLE CUSTOMERS OR ANECDOTES? Hoover: “I have met so many amazing people and have unforgettable memories, like bowling with Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, bar-hopping with Michael J. Fox, and having dinner with Robert Redford. I am lucky to have met and had a great friendship with Robin Williams. Most recently, I had great conversations at lunch every day with Mel Gibson. You know you’ve done a great job when they request you for their next project.
My career as a chef in the film industry has been such a blessing. The local film crew here in Wilmington are like family: so many departments working to make a great production. I take great pride in cooking for the crew to get the project done. One of my favorite parts of catering is the desserts! Ask anyone and you will hear about the dessert bar.”
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN YOU FEED AT A TIME ON LOCATION? Hoover: “Crew sizes are normally around 150, but we have been known to feed up to 2,000 people a day.”
HAVE YOU SEEN GROWTH OVER THE PAST 18 MONTHS OR SO? Hoover: “North Carolina is a great place to film! They can’t resist. [Our business] has definitely grown. As a local caterer here in Wilmington, I have seen how the incentive helps bring in film.”
DO YOU HAVE PLANS FOR FUTURE GROWTH? Hoover: “We’re staying local here in North Carolina. My son, Arthur Hoover III, will be continuing on the arts legacy.”
Editor’s note: Film Focus is a monthly series looking at the people and businesses that are local vendors to the film industry. To be considered for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s Film Focus feature, contact [email protected]
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