The catering company has
grown every year since Ms. Co-
hen invested $300 to make her
first party. Billings now hover
between $750,000 and $1 mil-
Ms. Aaron, Ms. Cohen said,
had owned part of the company
but offered in May to buy out
the entire business when she
noticed her partner burning out.
"She heard me complaining
about not seeing my daughter,
not traveling. I was exhausted,
I was putting on weight. It was
more than I ever wanted to
think about," she said.
"Julie told me she could see I
was stressed and proposed to
buy the business. I said, 'Real-
ly?' I was practically giddy.
When I signed the papers I
thought, 'I've got my life back.'
Julie comes to my house for din-
ner, now that I'm cooking
Ms. Aaron, of West Bloom-
field, describes Ms. Cohen's first
day on the job as an employee
as a "blast."
"I was a little apprehensive
at first; I thought she was going
to hate it. She loved it. We ap-
preciate that everyone has
evolved in their lives. I still talk
to her 20,000 times a day about
stupid things. We go shopping;
we go to lunch. She's like a sis-
ter to me. There were no hard
Ms. Aaron, 29, is principal
owner of Annabel and Compa-
ny but has taken on four part-
ners who've been with the
company for a while: Josi Ryke-
Fishman, Erik Herman, Craig
Maybee and Bradley Dockery.
"I felt if I was going to buy it,
people here would be partners,
too. Everybody deserves the
limelight. Any little happiness
you can get out of it is good, and
I don't think it should be for one
person," she said. "My view is
catering is a very team-orient-
Unlike her former boss, Ms.
Aaron studied the culinary arts
at Oakland Community College.
And she also plans to get to bed
early and rise early, a habit Ms.
Cohen chucked long ago. Burn-
ing out isn't yet a worry.
As for Ms. Cohen, a former
advertising copywriter, she just
finished editing a cookbook de-
voted to recipes that use buffa-
lo meat and has been
approached about writing for a
But first, a trip to Italy.
Ms. Cohen will travel with
Raquel to Milan in December to
help out an American friend
opening a cookie factory. She
might work a day or two in a
restaurant to bone up on her
When she returns, she'll try
/— to forge a career as a food writer.
"I'm in a unique position. I've
actually cooked a lot and writ-
ten a lot," she said.
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Mon.-Fri. 9-6 a Saturday 9-3
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