patrick picI have worked with Pure Joy Catering Operations Manager Patrick Ward for 16 years.  He has developed a fan base over the years for his warm heart and dedication to flawless weddings and events in Santa Barbara and its surrounding areas.   You see, Patrick takes weddings and events personally and he is a pleaser with a love of life that makes him shine.  I don’t think I have ever seen him frustrated, lose his temper or complain once.  And in our industry, that’s unheard of.   But enough of the personal side of Patrick, as you will get to read more about him below.

Professionally he knows every facet of producing events and what is necessary for a seamless event and has a working knowledge of almost every wedding and event location in Santa Barbara County and its surrounding areas.  His professional background started in the service and hospitality industry, which is where I met him.  He had Ventura County eating out of the palm of his hand and anyone who had Patrick Ward handling their event always concluded it with the feeling that they’d made a personal friend in Patrick.  Throughout the years, I would witness Patrick taking on tasks that were not even his the day of weddings and events, just to make sure the client was happy and the job got done.  When I heard that Pure Joy Catering owner Lynette LaMere snagged him for her thriving, award-winning Santa Barbara catering business, I was especially thrilled.  Patrick’s fan base has only continued to expand, and I am still perhaps one of his greatest fans.

Continuing our series on the finest wedding and event professionals in Santa Barbara, I present to you the personal side to Patrick Ward with some things you may (or may not) know:

Where were you born and raised?  I was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming then lived in Crete until I was 5 years old. My father was in the Air Force and retired at Vandenberg Air Force base.

Where has been your favorite place to live?  Good old Ventura, California. Just love living there.  I live not far from downtown and all the people are so great. I also love the locally-owned stores downtown. I can be in LA or Santa Barbara in less than a hour.

Where have you traveled to that you simply must return to (or never been to and want to go)? I loved New York City, went to Manhattan a couple years ago and will be going back. I just loved Europe and so far my favorite place was Venice.

What are your hobbies? What do you love to do most when not working/planning events for Pure Joy Catering? Wow, not much time for this, lol!   I love spending time with my three grandchildren and family. I have three daughters and the youngest is married with three beautiful children: one girl and two boys.  I also love to go to plays, walks on the beach, and really like just staying home and having family and friends come over.

What makes you feel most alive?  I love life and just love each and every day. I try to wake up happy and make it the best day I can have. I love my job and have the best boss in the whole world. I believe if you love what you are doing then everything else will be good as well. I probably spend much more time at work than anywhere else, which is why it is so important to me to love what I do and love every day. My children and grandchildren also make me feel most alive. There is nothing better than being a parent except being a grandparent.

How did you get into the events world? Wow, well  long ago I started out as a busboy and weed picker at Sambos when I was 15 years old. By the time I turned 17 I was the manager of the store.  From there, I worked at Village Inn and then opened the Baker’s Square restaurants.  I also worked at the Officer’s Club at the base. The job that got me to love catering, however, was when I was hired at Capistrano’s inside the Embassy Suites, Mandalay Beach Resort. I was the banquet manager there for about 2-4 years and then was promoted to Director of Catering. I just loved doing weddings and also did a lot of corporate work as well. I was there for a little over 14 years. I then took some time off because I wanted to get out of the corporate world. I started at Pure Joy Catering 5 years ago and have never looked back since.

What do you love most about what you do?  It is hard to say what I love most. I love meeting and working with brides and their family on their special event. Their wedding day is so important to them and it is equally important to me. I love planning the event and then being there the day of the event to implement everything we have worked so carefully on. I think the best part is the reward after working with someone for sometimes over a year and getting a letter from them or a review online saying what an amazing day they had with Pure Joy and myself.  It validates my role in a lifetime landmark event.   There is nothing like it.  I have to mention Lynette LaMere, the owner and Executive Chef of Pure Joy Catering. Not only is she the best person I have every worked for but she is also a very good friend.

What is the one thing most people may not know about you? I own two Bouvier Des Flandres, Sophie & Brodie, and I love to garden.

What is your favorite food? Hate to say it but I love comfort food: fried chicken , mac-n-cheese and more. I  also love all pastas, ice cream and brownies.

What are your top 3 favorite Pure Joy Catering event menu items? Another hard one because we have so many great food choices!   I would have to sa Chicken Provencal,  Fresh Farmers Market Vegetables and my all-time favorite, our Ice Cream Sandwich Bar.