Central student’s business lightens the party load
Allison Gelman (left) with her friends and employees, Kate Christian and Caroline Cimo, served the food and drinks at the Hinsdale Central PTO holiday breakfast for the school staff. | Photo submitted by Sigita Mitchel
On the menu
Name: Serving Spledor
Founder: Allison Gelman
Specialty: Weddings or parties
Phone: To book, call (630) 825-5517
Updated: March 8, 2013 6:03AM
HINSDALE — Allison Gelman, a junior at Hinsdale Central High School, serves on the Student Council, belongs to the Peer Leadership Club and writes for the school yearbook.
In her spare time, she decided to open a business, and started Serving Splendor in August.
“People hire us to work at weddings or parties where they need some extra hands,” Gelman said. “We can help set things up, help cook a little bit, pour drinks, stock the cooler, pick up any dishes, carry around food on trays and then clean up.”
Gelman does not mind getting her hands dirty.
“I knew that was going to be part of it when I started,” Gelman said.
She was working at Fontano Subs and Deli in Hinsdale, when she got the idea to go into business for herself.
“I kind of got the feel around the food industry (at Fontano’s) and how to run a business,” Gelman said. But, “I didn’t want to do anything that would cost a lot of money to start up.”
Her mother suggested she help serve and clean up at parties.
“I know a lot of parties happen around here,” Gelman said. “My mother helped motivate me to get it off the ground.”
Gelman first sought clients by posting fliers in local businesses, but that was not very fruitful. So she bought an ad in the PTO directory.
“That’s how I got my first customers,” she said. “Then I sent an email to everyone on the so-called mom’s list that advertises stuff going on around Hinsdale.”
One of her first assignments was working a wedding where the groom was about to be deployed. The event had to be put together quickly, making for a lot of work.
She set her prices low enough to encourage people to hire her. She decided $8 was good to start even though she was earning $8 to $10 an hour as a babysitter.
“I have a list of about five girls I go to school with who help me. Every job I bring a friend or two.”
Gelman, who volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, said one of her dreams is to own a nonprofit.
But Serving Splendor is her current enterprise.
“I’m definitely going to do it until I graduate,” she said.