Press-Republican

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January 13, 2013

Orchard House Catering provides memories

PERU — Making Memories at Home.

Chef and Owner Heidi Duquette has been able to do just that at The Orchard House Catering. The two-story, green with red trim, is located at 325 Route 22B in the Town of Peru.

Duquette said she has "dabbled" in the culinary arts all of her life as she raised her family. She said she learned a lot from Nine Platt Hospitality Group President (CHECK) Bob Smith during her first job out of college.

"I saw how to run a successful operation," Duquette said.

She and her husband, Eric, started renovations at the start of 2010 and finally opened July 8, 2011. The pre-1800 colonial-style home had fallen into severe disrepair before they bought the property.

It was Eric's expertise in the construction business, as owner of Duquette's Building and Remodeling, and their hard work that converted the property to its present warm, welcoming atmosphere, she said. They renovated from the roof and chimney through the walls and basement, even new wiring, plumbing and septic systems.

"I think we saved it," Duquette said.

The charm starts right at the front entrance with a four-sided sign built by Eric topped by a brass apple Duquette got from her mother. There are new new black-metal lamposts along the driveway.

"A lot of heart and soul went into this for sure," Duquette said.

The three main function rooms feature richly colored hardwood floors. The Gala Room is the largest of the function rooms, and can hold up to 50 people. 

It features a fireplace and wooden beam ceilings Duquette discovered during renovations. 

The Gala Room also connects to the Screen Room, a sun room available only during spring, summer and fall. It is well suited for appetizers and cocktails prior to dining.

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