Push for more Diverse Catering Options at Brooklyn Park’s CAC
You could soon have more options for catering at the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center (CAC). Like most event spaces, the CAC has a preferred list of licensed caterers approved to serve food at the facility.
The venue is a popular place for weddings, parties and gatherings. But you can only bring in food and beverages from a group of four caterers—Jambo Africa, Lancer Catering, Lookout Catering and Roasted Pear.
Brooklyn Park Considering Expanding Catering List
The city is considering expanding the list and making it an open policy so any licensed caterer could bring in food or beverages.
Right now, the facility is only renting about 56 percent of Saturdays throughout the year. Parks and Facilities Manager Brad Tullberg says an open policy might bring in more business.
“We’ve possibly lost some room rentals in the past because we couldn’t provide the catering options that people were looking for so they looked elsewhere for their room rental,” said Tullberg.
“They have four caterers that really don’t meet our needs,” said Imam Mohammed Dukuly. He’s a Brooklyn Park resident and operates a mosque in Brooklyn Center.
“We are Muslims. If we ask for halal food, I would have to incur extra charge and they might not even provide the kind of food that we would want,” said Dukuly.
Dukuly is asking the city to allow people to bring in their own food and beverages for events–licensed or unlicensed. During the recent Ramadan celebration, members of Masjid Al-ansar Mosque held their event at a school in Brooklyn Park. Dukuly says he wishes the community center was an option.
“We pay taxes and we really, really, want to spend whatever resources we’re taking to other cities, to remain here, because that would help to improve this place, not just for us, but for generations to come,” Dukuly explained.
City officials say if they allowed people to bring in their own food, it could result in unsafe food conditions. That’s why the city requires caterers at the CAC to be licensed.
Meanwhile, the parks and recreation staff is currently drafting a proposal that could change the catering policy. The proposal would have to go through the Recreation and Parks Commission and then go to the City Council for approval. The current caterer contracts expire April 30th, 2019.