Elizabeth and Me soon to close, longtime Rotary caterers

Published 5:21 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

You could probably count on one hand the number of people in Decatur County who have never experienced one of the wonderful meals prepared by the catering team of Faye Martin and Nelda Moore. They go by the name Elizabeth and Me, and are currently cooking and catering from a kitchen located at the Bainbridge Marina.

But that is soon to stop.

Faye has sold her home in Decatur County and is relocating with her husband Morrel to the Athens area to be nearer to family. She expects to move the end of June.

The two women both retired from Memorial Hospital several years ago, where they began doing part-time catering and decorating for special events. They may have been retired, but they have worked tirelessly in the catering business for the past  19 years. Two regular employees who have worked with them for some time are Dorothy Love and Iola Wade. For large gatherings, they draw from a pool of workers who have helped build the reputation through the years.

During that time they have fed the hungry at 53 wedding receptions, school reunions, Rotary Club weekly meetings, various fundraising events, such as Rotary Casino Nights and Memorial Hospital’s Derby parties, corporate parties, and private birthday and anniversary parties, employees of BASF and Georgia Power and Decatur County School events.

They always offer a broad selection of food from which to choose at each event, so no one should ever have to go away hungry.  And if the invitation said, “catering by Elizabeth and Me,” you just knew it was going to be good.

The name came from Faye who was inspired by her grandmother Elizabeth’s cooking skills. Some of her recipes are handed down in the family, others she finds in one of the 100 or more cookbooks she owns. She occasionally comes up with what could best be described as a localized Southern traditional dish, like ham pie, which was served at Rotary a couple of weeks ago. The menu always changes and it is a treat to go to Rotary each week and see what’s cookin’. Not only that, but the dessert table always has a seasonal or cheerful decoration.

Asked what was the most requested entrée, Faye replied for regular lunches it is chicken potpie, mashed potatoes and gravy, meat loaf. For special occasions it is definitely prime rib with bread pudding drizzled in rum sauce for dessert. She has never had a request she couldn’t or wouldn’t fill. Nedra said Faye likes to improvise and will jump on any request. Nedra leaves the cooking to Faye, while she gets the event organized and decorated.

They are always so generous with left-overs, sending meals home to shut-ins or those known to be in need of a good meal.

Nedra plans to retire again, as do Dot and Iola, who are retiring for the second time, as well.

Faye said she will miss the cooking somewhat, but mainly she will miss the people. “We do business with the nicest people you could ever imagine.”

Their last meal for Rotary will be the end of May, and the last catering job will be the end of June.