Leisure & Hospitality
By Sara Anne Donnelly
Photographed by Greta Rybus
It’s not news to the locals, but our seasonal tourism industry makes Leisure and Hospitality one of our largest employers with 61,999 jobs. Food preparation and food serving rule this roost, to the tune of 69 percent of the occupations in this sector.
For seventeen years, Peggy Liversidge worked in Boston and New York at marketing firms so intense she rarely went out for lunch. But nothing she has ever done, she says, is as tough as running her Kennebunk catering company.
Liversidge was warned as much. Back in 2002, she was hired by a now-defunct caterer whose owner told her to bail on this feast-or-famine business right before having a nervous breakdown. But it was taking on the pool party that her former boss had bowed out of that hooked Liversidge and launched Kitchen Chicks Catering in 2003. Kitchen Chicks is now a $1.8 million company with sixty seasonal employees and fifteen in the off-season; retail locations in Cape Porpoise and Kennebunk; a seven-thousand-square-foot catering facility also in Kennebunk; and a break-neck schedule of multiple daily parties for five months out of the year.