About Us

Family-owned, family-operated
since 1959

Catering with Elegance started in 1959 as a grill and snack shop in Chicago. Soon, our founder Don Helmig grew the original restaurant into ten locations throughout Chicagoland, serving donuts and coffee to go as well as breakfast and lunch.

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In 1970

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In 1970, we started offering catering services. From those humble beginnings, our family has built a thriving catering business that has served presidents, other dignitaries, and events of more than 4,000 people throughout the area.

Today

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Today, Catering with Elegance plans and produces events at the Bloomingdale Golf Club in Bloomingdale, Medinah Shrine Center, in Addison, and at homes, businesses, and venues throughout the area. We have proudly managed the business from its earliest days till now, and we continue to be involved hands-on in each and every event.

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Meet the Staff

Our family and senior management team oversees each event from first contact to the last guest's departure. Have a question for us? we'll get back to you right away.

Our family and senior management team oversees each event from first contact to the last guest

We'd love to serve you, too. We invite you to talk to us about how we can make your special event memorable. 

Don Helmig

Don Helmig

Founder and president

Catering with Elegance's founder Don Helmig has been working in food service since 1959. No event has ever been too large or too small for Don's dedication, taste for excellence, and ability to anticipate every customer's need-and, through food and celebration, he's brought joy to thousands of Chicagoland guests.

Jeff Helmig

Jeff Helmig

Vice president and co-owner

A former life in transportation and construction kept Jeff from fulfilling his dream of working in the family business. Experience in less personal fields gave him the perspective necessary to manage all facets of the business. Jeff began his career in food service by working in the Helmig family restaurants as a young boy. Since 2008, he's worked full-time for Catering with Elegance and is passionate about carrying on the legacy of event elegance and customer service his father built.

Karen Helmig

Karen Helmig

Event Manager

Karen married Jeff at Bloomingdale Golf Club almost 30 years ago-so she knows firsthand how wonderful it is to be a bride here. Her background as a bridal consultant, combined with her experience working in a bakery and in other aspects of event management makes her perfectly suited to her role overseeing weddings at Bloomingdale Golf Club. Her leadership has reaped rewards: BGC has won the two most prestigious awards in the in the industry.

Jon Karpinski

Jon Karpinski

Off-Site Catering Manager

Jon finds his greatest job satisfaction in making customers events as wonderful as possible-he's grateful for the part he plays in helping people celebrate the memorable experiences in their lives. Like Joanna, Jon's collaboration with Don Helmig has extended through much of his career: he began working for Don at Bloomingdale Golf Club while still in high school. Today, he manages every aspect of Catering with Elegance's off-site events.

Joanna Karpinski

Joanna Karpinski

General Manager

Joanna loves nothing more than helping guests plan special events and meetings-from first call to the "thank you" at the night's end. She's been Medinah Shrine Center's general manager since 2013, but her connection with Catering with Elegance extends back to 1992, when she started working with Don Helmig. Joanna loves the variety in her job: in her role at Medinah, she oversees everything from weddings and anniversary celebrations to meetings, seminars, and expos.

Juan Rodriguez

Juan Rodriguez

Event Manager

Juan brings nearly 30 years in food, beverage, and events management expertise to his role with Medinah Weddings & Signature Events. He has managed banquet and event staff for the Chicago Athletic Association and Lalo's Restaurant in Chicago, and has been part of the Catering with Elegance team since 2009.

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