As a Boston concierge, I have quite a few clients whose principal focus is fanatically centered on food. One client has even outfitted her kitchen with professional restaurant equipment, and is a fantastic amateur chef. As someone who loves food, I am more than happy to work for foodies. A common characteristic of these clients is their insistence on pure, wholesome food that has not been genetically modified. To meet their high standards, I have identified several food chains that carry natural and organic foods. Here are some of the food-related services that a personal concierge will provide:
- Shopping: Clients usually construct detailed shopping lists, either written or orally dictated. These lists are often very specific: asparagus that is not woody, grapefruit without bruises, cheese aged for no less than one year, etc. Locating everything on the list can be a challenge, but a good concierge can usually find everything by shopping at multiple stores. Surprisingly, few customers specify price constraints – I never receive instructions to find a food item on sale. Rather, its quality and purity that occupy my clients’ imaginations.
- Stocking: Rather than issuing shopping orders, some clients have a master list of items to be stocked in the kitchen, and it is my job to make sure all items are present at all times. To accomplish this, I come in several times a week and inventory the kitchen. I then shop at one or more grocers and then restock the pantry and refrigerator. Occasionally, the client will want something special or will make changes to the standing orders. Often, I combine these forays to the store with stops at the florist to ensure that fresh-cut flowers are always on display.
- Party Preparation: A lot of my clients are inveterate entertainers – they love throwing dinner parties. Not only do I have to shop in advance, but I am often hired to prepare the meals as well (I am a pretty good cook). I not only cook all of the dishes, I prepare hors d’oeuvres and mixed drinks, plus stock liquors and wines. I serve the meals and pour the drinks. Often, I get to take home leftovers, like rack of organic lamb or stuffed flounder with truffles.
- Allergy Alert: Some of my clients are allergic to specific foods, like gluten, soy, or shellfish. It is my responsibility to ensure that everything I buy for them is 100 percent free of their allergens. It’s serious business – a client could get sick or die by eating the wrong food.
Other food services include finding organic fresh-made baby food, shopping at the farmer’s market and getting fresh bones for the dog from the local butcher.