Chef Paul Flores was one of the major motivators for the health and wellness program at Sam Pack's Five Star Ford in Carrollton, Texas.
Although the program launched in April, Flores brought healthier eating to the dealership about a year ago. That's when he launched Cowboy Chic Catering in the Dallas area, after years of working as the executive sous chef for Westin Hotels.
"I just really wanted to make a difference," said Flores. "I wanted to bring that healthy eating experience to other people. I can relate to the people who work in the garage and parts and service. In a way, I work in a garage, a food garage, where I work with my hands and depend on my colleagues. We succeed through teamwork. I felt the need to bring food to help nourish them."
Alex Sagcal, the dealership's public relations manager, already had a stable of caterers with whom he worked when Flores approached him about catering the Saturday employee lunch. Flores' healthful and tasty food won over Sagcal, who decided to give the local upstart a chance.
"Everyone really enjoyed the food," said Sagcal. "And our dealership likes to do what we can to support newer businesses in our community. Now, though, [Flores] has gotten so busy that we mainly use him for our corporate events."
Flores caters for dealerships throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area and said that he specializes in showing how favorites — dishes such as pot roast, salad and truffled mashed potatoes — are healthful alternatives to fast food and other common eats. He also incorporates superfoods such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil and turkey into his menus.
"I'm a native Texan and I have a pretty good idea what people here enjoy," he said. "But I also infuse Latin, Italian, Asian and other flavors in the food. I call it Texasian or Texalian."
His customers, including Sagcal, just call it delicious.
"You know, this isn't all about the dollars," said Flores of catering. "This gives me a reason to get up in the morning, bringing healthy food to hard-working people. I'm trying to make a difference in people's lives."