Meet the Bleu Bite Catering Team
Cerstin Cheatham, Owner, Chef & Wedding Specialist
“I discovered my passion for entertaining in my mom’s kitchen,” reflects Cerstin Cheatham, creator, chef, and owner of Bleu Bite Catering. And those homey roots influence every aspect of Cerstin’s catering from her rustic fare, personalized service, and custom menus to her distinctive presentation of food and décor.
Cerstin grew up in Northern California, but in 1993 she packed two cats and all of her belongings into her little black Subaru and moved to Bend, Oregon. Her early days in Bend were filled with snowboarding, camping, and entertaining. Indeed, at every opportunity she threw parties for friends and family that included creatively themed menus, décor, and activities. Entertaining has always been in this self-taught cook’s blood, so no one was surprised the year Cerstin showed up for a Halloween party dressed as a punk-rock Martha Stewart!
Let the catering begin…
In 2000, Cerstin translated her passion for cooking, creating memorable events, and making people happy into a business—Bleu Bite Catering. In the beginning, Bleu Bite specialized in delivering fresh lunches to hungry working men and women and serving tasty food at local events. But Cerstin had a grander vision in mind, and she quickly transformed the business into a full-service catering company serving weddings, business luncheons, special events, and private parties.
Cerstin’s meticulous nature, hands-on approach, and passion for her work have made Bleu Bite what it is today. Nineteen years after its creation, Cerstin continues to work as chef as well as oversee the business’s day-to-day operations and kitchen management. In her efforts to stay sharp and on the cutting edge of catering, she also regularly attends professional seminars on cuisine, décor and design, and technique.
Not your typical catering company…
The fruit of Cerstin’s labor-of-love is a catering company that stands apart from others. Bleu Bite is socially conscious, donating $40K annually in food and services to shelters, non-profits, and fundraisers, purchasing free range and locally grown meat and produce, using compostable cups and utensils, composting kitchen waste, and recycling. Bleu Bite is also particularly distinctive in its personal approach to event planning. For every occasion Cerstin and her staff work one-on-one with clients to create a unique and memorable menu, plan décor, and customize staffing. With individualized attention to detail as the company’s cornerstone, Bleu Bite has won a reputation for hosting successful events that are fun and have flair.
Bleu Bite’s goal is for clients and their guests to be wowed by flavor and presentation, and this is surely something Cerstin and her staff achieve over and again.
Janie Thornton, Vice President
An Oregon girl born and raised, Janie moved to the Bend area in 2009. She attended Crook County High School and, after graduating, began pursuing a degree in hospitality, travel, and tourism.
Janie has been with Bleu Bite since 2011 and has received multiple promotions over the years, from providing customer service and office support to office and sales manager to vice president. As vice president, Janie wears a lot of hats, including sales, marketing, finance, systems improvement, and more. Her leadership, support, and oversight are instrumental to Bleu Bite’s continuing success and the team’s ability to deliver personalized, high-quality service to every customer, every time.
Janie has joined Cerstin and other members of the “Bleu Crew” at catering conventions in Las Vegas and New Orleans for the last several years. While there, she’s attended seminars that have expanded her knowledge of the catering business and spark new ideas for the company. Outside of work, she loves spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, cooking, and art. Her goal is to visit every state in the U.S.—she’s made it to 25 so far!
Tori Martin, Chef
Tori moved from Brookings to Bend over 15 years ago and joined the Bleu Bite team in 2018. She learned how to cook from the best: her grandma and her great aunt Carol. Growing up, she spent hours in their kitchens, watching as they created their magic and serving as their prep cook… chopping vegetables, measuring and mixing ingredients, joyfully tackling each task they asked of her.
Tori got her start in the food industry as a server but quickly moved to the back of house. With chef’s knife firmly in hand, she honed her skills at some of Bend’s favorite restaurants, including Parrilla Grill, Pizza Mondo, and Demetri’s. Ten years later, she’s brought her creativity and passion for cooking to Bleu Bite. Tori loves to feed people, infusing her positive energy into every dish she makes. What better way to do that than through catering?
In Tori’s perfect world, she’d be able to do yoga while she cooks. She is a true yoga devotee. She also relishes all things outdoors, especially hiking, foraging for mushrooms, and walking in the woods with her family and her dogs—whether her teenage daughter wants to or not!
Vivian Levi, Customer Service
Vivian joined the Bleu Bite team in 2017, bringing with her a wealth of customer service experience and a culinary arts degree from Western Culinary Institute.
Vivian’s customer service role at Bleu Bite entails both engaging with customers and behind-the-scenes office work. No matter what task she’s performing, her goal is always to deliver warm, friendly customer service and ensure that the office runs smoothly. Vivian also keeps in the loop with new catering trends by attending the annual catering convention with Cerstin and other “Bleu Crew” team members.
While Vivian grew up in both Oregon and Arizona, she’s always at home when her family is nearby. Whether they’re playing pickleball, just being lazy, or geeking out on Star Wars, Vivian, her husband, and her son know how to make any moment a fun time.
Biographies Written By: Nimble Ink