Note to Readers: Today, we feature the first in an occasional dialogue with local businesses, offering a chance to allow our readers a chance to get to know them better.
Preparing and catering hors d’oeurves for events and parties around the region might seem like an easy task — virtually everyone has made nachos or wrapped hot dogs in crescent rolls — but in truth, it’s a lot more demanding, time-consuming and complicated than you might expect. Just ask Betsy Coons, the proprietor of Hors d’oeuvres by Besty.
She started out as the neighbor, relative or friend who always managed to bring just the right item to social, school and church events — and her friends told her she should quit her job as a tax accountant to do it full time. And she did.
“I’ve always enjoyed preparing specialty hors d’oeuvres, sandwiches and cookies for friends, family, church and school functions,” Coons said. “So after leaving the corporate world as a tax accountant and with the encouragement of a friend, I started Hors d’oeuvres by Betsy.”
But, still, it’s not that simple. Being a unique business niche, her food items needed to stand out and reflect the region’s — and even the neighborhood’s — special flavors.
“I like to keep my menu fresh and healthy by buying local produce, meats and Maryland crab meat,” she said. “In the spring, summer and fall, I use herbs and peppers from my garden, and gladly accept the surplus of vegetables from my generous neighbors.”
When she’s not running her business, you’re likely to see Coons out and about in greater Unionville, active in various social, civic and church groups.
“I’ve lived in Unionville with my husband Brian and daughter Emily for 14 years,” she explains. “I’m very involved with various activities at my church, Lower Brandywine Presbyterian, I’ve been involved in Girl Scouts for the past 12 years, I volunteer at Anson B. Nixon Park in Kennett Square, and Emily and I have loved participating in the Unionville Community Fair. My husband works in corporate aviation. Emily graduated from UHS in 2012 as a “Lifer” and is finishing her freshmen year at Goucher College.
Because she’s known by so many folks, between her civic and business activities, she’s gained a wide range of experience in catering various types of events.
“I’ve catered holiday parties, birthday parties, graduations, engagement parties, bridal lunches, small weddings, events at local wineries and special receptions,” she said.