Lakeside Chautauqua enters new partnership with Ward Catering

Staff Blogger: Elizabeth Fantozzi- Marketing and Public Relations Manager

Lakeside Chautauqua is pleased to announce a new culinary partnership with Ward Catering.

“During our search for a new Lakeside caterer, Andy and Nickie Ward of Ward Catering stood out,” said Dan Dudley, Interim President & Chief Financial Officer at Lakeside Chautauqua. “The Wards have so much relevant experience that shows they’re capable of multitasking and able to produce quality cuisine for a high volume of people, which is ideal for Lakeside’s busy summer.”

The Wards bring more than 45 years of combined experience in the food service industry.

After high school, Nickie worked as General Manager of TGI Fridays for 12 years. She then earned her bachelor’s degree in education and is now a fifth grade teacher in Sandusky.

Andy served as Chef/Culinary Director at Edgewood Manor in Port Clinton for nine years before taking on the role of Chef/ Director of Culinary Services at Otterbein Marblehead SeniorLife Community for the last three and a half years.

Andy and Nickie have worked together at Sawmill Creek in Huron and J Bistro in Sandusky and found that they make a great team in the kitchen. The couple started their own business, Ward Catering, in 2010, alongside their full-time jobs.

“Andy and I take the ordinary and make it special,” said Nickie. “Ward Catering’s focus is excellent presentation and carrying out the client’s vision.”

Over the past decade, their business has thrived, catering parties of 12 to 500 people, including local events like Dancing with the Stars Ottawa County CASA and events at Camp Perry Lodging & Conference Center and the Port Clinton Yacht Club. The couple also owns a small kitchen in Sandusky, offering taste-testing and dining area seating for about 14 people. They plan to continue their work there in the fall, winter and spring.

Now, this dynamic duo is shifting their focus to catering Lakeside events. This will be Andy’s primary career, while Nickie will use her summer vacations from teaching to work in the business.

The couple is excited to introduce Lakesiders, guests, friends and families to revamped menus, which offer additional choices and more variety.

“We worked to create a menu that suits the clients in Lakeside,” said Nickie. “We gave people a lot of options, while making sure the prices are reasonable.”

They both agreed that their catering focus is all about pleasing the client.

“It’s rewarding when we cater for a special event, especially weddings and anniversaries,” said Nickie. “I always love to see how thrilled the clients are.”

Aside from catering, the Wards are looking forward to driving around in a golf cart this summer and exploring Lakeside with their family.

“There’s so much to do here! You have the pool, shows and the tennis courts. We can’t wait to bring our kids. They’re going to love it,” said Andy.

Andy has enjoyed coming to Lakeside to fish for walleye off of the dock. Working right outside the gates at Otterbein has allowed him the opportunity to visit and learn more about Lakeside and what the community has to offer.

“Lakeside really is a hidden gem,” he said. “We’re really excited for this opportunity.  It’s the right time for us in this chapter of our lives; it’s almost a new beginning for us. It’s now or never, and I couldn’t think of a better place. It just all fit together for us, and I think Lakeside will be a natural fit for the both of us.”

The Wards are looking for summer part-time employees to work on the catering staff. The couple plans to begin interviews soon. If interested, contact Andy and Nickie at

Thank you to Avery’s Café & Catering

Lakeside Chautauqua is grateful to Avery’s Café & Catering for their years of service working as Lakeside’s catering team and managers of the Hotel Lakeside Dining Room & Cafe. Their catering has played a significant role in the Lakeside experience for many families, friends and guests. We wish Scott and Josie Kluding luck with all their future endeavors.

3 thoughts on “Lakeside Chautauqua enters new partnership with Ward Catering

  1. Enjoyed very much my dinner this evening.
    This is a very good idea. Hope you continue the service.
    Judy Kutina

  2. This is an excellent service available now at Lakeside. Ward Catering has tasty offerings and the delivery to our door has always been as promised. (I am currently recuperating after orthopedic surgery so the front porch delivery is a huge help!) The 3 meal selection includes something for everyone (OK, maybe not for vegans, but often there is an item geared toward the younger eater.)

    We LOVE this service and the meals are tasty, tasty, tasty with right-sized portions. We hope it continues throughout the summer. This is such a big help with cooking and eating out during the Covid crisis.

    Thank you, Ward Catering and Lakeside for making this possible.

  3. I have stopped receiving the weekly email to order meals.
    Please send to
    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Schuler family supports student seasonal employees at Lakeside

Through raising their five children, who are between 9 and 17 years old, Bob and Jennifer Schuler have witnessed the importance of Lakeside’s seasonal employment firsthand. “My kids’ seasonal jobs at Lakeside gave them opportunities to learn responsibility, service and how to be part of a team,” said Jennifer. “Their jobs have taught them the […]

Read More

Hotel Lakeside Dining Room under new management

Elizabeth Fantozzi: Marketing & Public Relations Manager This summer, the Hotel Lakeside Dining Room will offer more than just delicious meals, but a unique dining experience for the entire family. Announced back in December 2019, the Hotel Lakeside Dining Room is now under the management of Chef Stacy Maple, former Director of United Way Ottawa […]

Read More

Lesser Celandine

Staff Blogger: Loretta Wilken, Lakeside Chautauqua Master Gardener/Groundskeeper If you’ve recently strolled along the west end of Second Street in Lakeside, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the explosion of yellow blooms against a shiny dark green carpet. You may have also noticed that they have traveled across the road and are even popping up outside of the […]

Read More