From the smile on your server’s face, to the stunning beauty of the tasting room, our goal is to delight you at every turn with our strong service and creative solutions to your needs.
Get in touch today to start planning your next event!
Custom Catering has been locally owned for its entire history, since 1995. But our roots go back to 1974, with the first Short Stop Restaurant in Sauk Rapids.
Still locally owned, our catering company partners with other local vendors and venues to provide farm-to-table and organic options and locally-crafted drinks to delight and surprise you every time.
We supply catering and in-kind donations to more than 100 local charities, organizations, high school sports teams, religious organizations and more, and have for nearly two decades. Our commitment to our local community is our number one priority, whether through donations or providing excellent catering for your events.
With award-winning sous chefs, we’re always inventing new dishes and drinks to bring to your table, like duck-filled cabbage rolls, rhubarb custard or gazpacho strawberry shots.
- 2017 Best of Central Minnesota – Winner, Best Catering
- 2016 Best of Central Minnesota – Winner, Best Catering
- 2015 Best of Central Minnesota – Winner, Best Catering
- 2014 Best of Central Minnesota – Winner, Best Catering
- 2010 Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year – Winner
- 2009 St. Cloud Area Small Business Person of the Year – Winner
1974-1994: The Restaurant Years
The Bjorklund family (Byron’s parents) opened Short Stop in 1974 on Benton Drive in Sauk Rapids, where Papa Murphy’s now sits. Byron Bjorklund was 11 at the time, and started working the restaurant as often as he could. The restaurant was originally modeled on the famous Val’s Rapid Service, but broasted chicken was added as an afterthought initially.
Byron chose to study finance at St. Cloud State University, and in his senior year in the fall of 1984, he decided he really wanted to commit to the restaurant business. At that point, he opened a second Short Stop location in east St. Cloud at 119 E. St. Germain Street, where the Somali Café and Restaurant now is. He started with one full-time and 3-4 part-time employees.
After graduating in 1985, Byron concentrated full-time on his business. Married to his wife PegAnne in 1986, in 1987 they opened a second location at the current St. Cloud location, 3701 3rd Street N. Byron ran the new location while PegAnne ran the east St. Cloud location.
In 1990, Short Stop started delivering food to family reunions and picnics, primarily serving their famous broasted chicken. This wasn’t the start of Custom Catering, that comes later!
Custom Catering Begins
In 1995 – after having four children together – Byron and his wife decided to shift gears, focusing less on expanding the restaurant business and more on building a catering company. To this end, they closed the East St. Cloud location and opened Custom Catering! The catering company started out working out of the same kitchen as Short Stop, with two catering trucks and 12 full- and part-time employees
It was difficult to help people understand they were doing catering far beyond broasted chicken, with multiple chefs creating and trying new recipes. Over time, Byron continue to adjust the colors of the trucks, logos, and marketing materials to separate the two brands.
Once the catering company started, Byron began making in-kind donations to various charities, local organizations, high school sports teams, religious organizations and more. One nearest and dearest to his heart is the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota – in fact, Byron offered Short Stop Restaurant as a training site for students with special needs, including those with down syndrome.
In 2001, Byron added 4,000 square feet onto the current building, including a separate kitchen specifically for the catering company.
In 2004, Custom Catering earned their first big contract for catering: Bernick’s Beverages and Vending. Bernick’s contracted with the catering company to provide all of the pre-packaged vending food, which required Custom Catering to add even more production space.
2006-2010: Big Things
In 2006, another vending company, Pepsi American in Fargo, contracted with Custom Catering for their pre-packaged vending food!
ING Café in downtown St. Cloud also contracted with Custom Catering in 2008 to provide all food at the café besides baked goods.
After 25 years, Byron’s mother chose to retire and close the Sauk Rapids Short Stop in 2009, renting the property to Papa Murphy’s Pizza.
Impressively, in 2009, Byron was selected as the St. Cloud Area Small Business Person of the Year, which led to him being eligible for and chosen as the Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year! He actually was invited to Washington D.C., where he met with President Obama in the White House Rose Garden.
2011-Present: Continued Success
Custom Catering has continued to find success with area partners. Both suppliers – local brewers like Bad Habit Brewing Company, Beaver Island Brewing Company and others – and locations – 912 Regency Plaza, Rolling Ridge Event Center and more – have joined forces to continue creating excellent experiences for wedding parties and corporate events across central Minnesota.
The family business has also continued. As Byron’s children have grown, some have stepped up to help run the business. One of his sons, Bjorn, assists with catering and bartending in various capacities.