By Kristie Snyder, GreenLeaf Editor

Desirée Blasini loves to plan events — so much so that when she’s not in action professionally as GreenStar’s Events Coordinator, she’s making something happen for her friends and family.
Hired in August 2015, Desirée brings experience in all aspects of management at Gola Osteria, and spent five years event planning for Cornell Catering before that. An Ithaca resident since elementary school, she enjoys the creative challenge of bringing a client’s vision to life. At The Space @ GreenStar, the Co-op’s 3,400-square-foot dedicated events facility, she’s free to do just that.

“Each event is like a puzzle,” Desirée explained, “and it has to go according to plan. It’s even more rewarding to make it happen on a budget.” The Space’s rental rates are discounted for member-owners and nonprofit organizations, leading to heavy use by many area non-profits. “I really enjoy working with non-profits,” said Desirée. “Some of our local organizations support wonderful causes, and it feels great to help them accomplish their goals.”

The Space can accommodate up to 220 people, making it ideal for events ranging from wedding receptions to bar and bat mitzvahs, community forums, dances, business meetings, and just about anything else you could come up with. The Catering Department is able and willing to serve all those needs. Tables and chairs are included in the rental fee, and audio-visual equipment is available for an additional charge. Desirée is a calm, creative presence ready to offer advice and assistance in coordinating extras like linens, flowers, wine, and more. “The décor is my favorite part of the job,” she said. “I love choosing centerpieces, linens, anything where you can get really creative. I love themed events.”

We’re all excited about the evolution of GreenStar Catering, which has just unveiled a brand-new, beautiful menu, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with more (and more-tempting) options in desserts and alcoholic beverages. The menu is designed to accommodate everything from passed hors d’oeuvres to sitdown dinners.

In addition to the set menu offerings, “we can work with you to build a menu within your budget,” Desirée said. There’s no place like the Co-op for awareness of dietary restrictions and preferences. “We’ll work with any dietary needs,” she stressed. As a full-service caterer, GreenStar is fully equipped to service off-site events as well.
While adhering to the Co-op’s principles of great, healthy food at as low a price as possible, the Catering Department offers something for every taste and diet. “Breakfast is one of our best values,” Desirée pointed out. Breakfast options cover a wide spectrum, including a la carte offerings, continental packages, and full brunches with mouth-watering sweet and savory options.

For a lovely mid-day meal, picture sushi platters, soup-and-sandwich offerings, boxed lunches, wrap or sandwich platters, salads, and build-your-own sandwich or salad buffets that allow guests maximum choice and creativity.

Dinner fare includes sushi platters, buffet dinners, three-course sit-down dinners, and GreenStar classics like pad thai, lasagna, and Oasis tofu.
Cheese, bread, fruit, or crudité platters can be served on their own as hors d’oeuvres or complement a meal. An array of beverages and desserts can be added to any meal. True to all GreenStar endeavors, the Catering Department is committed to using as many organic and local ingredients as possible, and gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are numerous. Fresh, mouth-watering, and creative options abound.

GreenStar Catering and The Space combine with Desirée’s expert guidance to serve whatever need you may have and to create and embellish any event you may dream up. “The Space is a blank canvas, in a great location, with free parking,”
Desirée said. “I love transforming it for whatever the client desires.”