Fueling the Scotties

Colin Stone was among those anxiously following Thursday evening’s draws at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Red Deer Catering owner Colin Stone

Colin Stone was among those anxiously following Thursday evening’s draws at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. But he was more disappointed than most by the results — or at least the fact round-robin play ended without the need for any tie-breaker games on Friday.

The owner of Red Deer Catering was prepared to feed the throngs of fans and officials who would have flocked to the Centrium for those extra draws.

“If there were tie-breakers, we would have had a full lunch and a full dinner,” said Stone, who instead learned at about 11 p.m. the night before that his staff could stand down.

“That’s a huge disappointment for us, but we knew that was going to be a gamble.”

It wasn’t the first gamble this week for Red Deer Catering, which has been supplying the food at the HeartStop Lounge and the sponsors lounge, as well as to the crew from TSN who are covering the event.

“We have to guess how many people are going to come each lunch break and dinner break, and it varies, depending on who’s playing, how many are playing, what size the crowd is and what the weather is,” said Stone. “We really take a shot in the dark on some of the days. So far, we’ve been pretty lucky.”

Actually, it’s probably more of an educated guess. Red Deer Catering, which has been operating for nearly 40 years, looked after the food needs at the Labatt Brier and Skate Canada International in 1994, the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in 1995 and the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 2004.

Those experiences, acknowledged Stone, provided lasting lessons on how to cater sporting events with unpredictable crowds.

“The first time out of the gate, we got all lessons and no profit.”

During the past week, Red Deer Catering has fed thousands of hungry fans, with mealtime crowds at the HeartStop Lounge cafe numbering 400 to 500, said Stone. Despite the associated challenges, the experience has been very positive, he said.

“We always enjoy the people who come into the HeartStop Lounge because a lot of them travel across the country and follow the Scotties Tournament.

“You get to meet some pretty interesting people.”

Stone also praised the approximately 40 people with TSN who have relied on Red Deer Catering for their lunches and dinners.

“The TSN crew has been absolutely wonderful to deal with.”

Its members have dined on such meals as roast beef, ham and scalloped potatoes and jerk chicken — and have appeared impressed with the offerings.

“We have had tremendous compliments from the TSN crew, who travel across the country and have been at every event across Canada,” said Stone.

In fact, he added, they ranked the food services at the Red Deer Scotties among their top two.

“That was great praise to have.”

Stone operates Red Deer Catering with his nephew Andrew Stone. His father John, who founded the business, has helped out during the Scotties Tournament.

“He’s been retired for about 12 years now, but he still comes back and helps with big events.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

The Latest: UK leader congratulates royals on birth of son

LONDON — The Latest on the royal baby birth: 1:50 p.m. British… Continue reading

Key events in the life of William, Kate and their family

LONDON — The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth Monday to a baby… Continue reading

Broncos families surprised obituaries are on website selling services

Some families of Humboldt Broncos bus crash victims are surprised to learn… Continue reading

‘It’s limitless:’ Paralyzed toddler moves from homemade wheelchair to treadmill

EDMONTON — Evelyn Moore sings the alphabet song as her tiny running… Continue reading

Shania Twain apologizes for saying she would have voted for Donald Trump

Shania Twain is apologizing after telling a British newspaper that she would… Continue reading

Replay Red Deer April 22, 2018

Watch weekly news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Crosby, Penguins keep 3rd straight championship in sight

PHILADELPHIA — Sidney Crosby tormented the Flyers just as he has from… Continue reading

29-year-old chef dies after collapsing at London Marathon

London Marathon organizers say a 29-year-old man died after collapsing near the… Continue reading

Greece beats budget target as it looks to post-bailout era

ATHENS, Greece — Greece has beaten its budget targets for a third… Continue reading

Etiquette and protocol highlights for royal wedding guests

NEW YORK — Grab those nude stockings, ladies. You’ll be at a… Continue reading

Federal environment minister defends BP Canada’s plans to drill in N.S.

HALIFAX — Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna is defending… Continue reading

Facebook’s privacy changes look different for Europeans and Americans

All 2.2 billion people who use Facebook will soon see changes to… Continue reading

Vermont wants to turn tourists into workers

Vermont has forest trails, yoga retreats, breweries galore – and a labor… Continue reading

Trump leading on North Korea, says envoy to Canada as G7 ministers meet

TORONTO — Donald Trump’s envoy to Canada says her president is leading… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month