It’s not every day that you find a marketing pro who holds a culinary arts degree from Drexel University, is a trained chef and also boasts impressive restaurant experience. How about one who happens to be family? That’s what we call winning, and that’s who we’re privileged to call our online accounts manager, Cathy Centofanti.
Famously known around here as owner Ann Kolenick’s sister, Cathy has taken her impressive background and fondness for The Gables at Chadds Ford and created engaging and fun ways to spread the word through marketing, advertising, and online and social media.
“I was pregnant with Sophia when I was offered the job,” Cathy laughed. “It was a perfect fit since I have the restaurant experience and I’m related to the owner. I was invested in The Gables’ success from day one!”
Cathy cut her restaurant teeth on a number of venues, including Philly’s Penne Restaurant & Wine Bar and DiBruno Bros. She also worked in the San Antonio area, including a chocolate-themed restaurant as she, like Ann, is a confirmed chocoholic.
“It’s my favorite thing to eat,” she admitted. “And while I’ve eaten my fair share of the gourmet stuff — anything dark chocolate is a given — I keep a three pound bag of M&M’S at the ready … for Sophia, of course!”
When she’s at The Gables, Cathy’s favorite nibbles are the rich, creamy offering, such as our crab dip, and shrimp and grits … and Ann’s award-winning chocolate espresso cake for dessert.
Cathy’s pedigree also includes working as a pastry chef for Hyatt hotels, but she credits her start to Ann, who offered Cathy an internship when she bought her North Carolina restaurant.
“I learned how to run a restaurant during that time; Ann had just bought it and we opened it and got it up and running,” Cathy added. “That was valuable experience.”
She brings all her talents to the table at The Gables, noting that no two days are the same. She works from afar around her toddler’s schedule, which gives her the flexibility to pivot to a new task when needed.
“On school days, I drop Sophia off early, and then hit the computer to attend to email, check our reviews, monitor social, schedule posts, review blogs, keep the website up to date, promote new beers or specials and whatever else needs to be done,” she said. “Like many working moms, mine is a juggling act; I don’t have a ‘typical’ workday.”
What does Cathy do when she’s not working, being a mom, shooing away her cat, Toby, from sitting on her head, feeding the goldfish or spending time with her husband, Vinnie? She loves to knit and makes custom baby booties, hats and other kid-centric items. She also digs cross-stitch and is into fitness.
“I do love my adult coloring book, with stress-relieving patterns. Sophia and I will sit at the kitchen table at the end of the day and color together while listening to music. It’s a great way to spend some time together while winding down from a long day.
“Some of my favorite times are Sunday dinner at my husband’s family’s house,” she said. “We make this big thing of sangria using good frozen peaches, and then have the peaches at dessert. We live in the South, so it’s warm a good part of the year, and that makes for a perfect day.”
Not surprisingly, Cathy said that if she wasn’t doing restaurant marketing, she’d be in the kitchen as a pastry chef. As a kid, she baked when she was bored — including her own birthday cakes. She’d considered being a vet at one point, but when the family dog needed an operation, she realized she couldn’t see herself in that role. Luckily for us, she went into the restaurant industry, and then into the family business. It just wouldn’t be the same without her!