Our Story - Planting Roots
The Mother Earth Group began as Something Classic in 1989 where then roommates Jill Marcus and Karen Teed found a way to express their dream and true passion for entertaining out of their home kitchen in Dilworth. The pair began cooking for friends and co-workers which quickly grew to a large group of friends, non-profits and corporations. Custom menus were created for each client and then prepared, delivered, served and cleaned up by Jill & Karen. A year later, their first commercial kitchen was rented on East Blvd at the Sunset Bar & Grill. “We would come in to start working after our day jobs and the food we prepped for the next day’s party would be out on the Happy Hour Buffet,” says Jill fondly of their nostalgic location. The first Something Classic Sandwich Boutique opened soon after on Huntley Place behind Myers Park Hardware. Everything was beautiful and fresh, using the herbs and flowers from their own garden to decorate the tables at events. Employees often started their day at the Sandwich Boutique, preparing the menu for an event that evening, helping customers as they came in and then set off to serve at an event that evening. The catering kitchen moved several years later to the yellow house clad with a garden mural on Independence Blvd, across the street from the Culinary Dept. at CPCC.
In 2000, Something Classic moved their offices and kitchen to Central Avenue to accommodate the chaos of multiple large events, floral designs and props. Over the years, Something Classic expanded to locations in Harris Teeter, the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Something Classic on East Blvd, Uptown in the Hearst Courtyard and the Community Café at Discovery Place. Signature events such as the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase, Crate & Barrel and Neiman Marcus Openings, grand galas, NASCAR events and catering for Charlotte’s who’s who became commonplace and excellence became the mantra.
In November 2010, Jill and Karen entered into their first restaurant adventure with the opening of Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth, in the Mint Museum Uptown. Jill and Karen designed the windowed space themselves, adding hand-made touches to every element from the tables made by Jill’s husband Gary Marcus, to the painting of Halcyon that hangs on the wall from Jill’s home – by local South Carolina artist Harriett Goode. Over the course of its first year, Halcyon was recognized as Best New Restaurant in Creative Loafing and Charlotte Magazine and has gained numerous national press over including features in Bon Appetit, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Southern Living, The Week and more along with sporting one of the best views of Uptown Charlotte in the city.
In October 2011, Jill and Karen reinvented the old Something Classic café space adjacent to the Central Ave corporate office and created a vegetarian haven – Fern, Flavors from the Garden – again, utilizing hand-made design elements including a living Fern wall and mason jar chandelier. Fern took off immediately gaining both local and national attention receiving rave reviews from Charlotte Magazine, The Charlotte Observer and Creative Loafing, Best New Restaurant, and recurring Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Charlotte Magazine along with features in national publications including Food & Wine and Taste of the South. Fern was the lit match in a row of many that have ignited the recent surge in vegetarian and vegan dining in the Charlotte area.
Living in the Moment
In 2012, Something Classic declared themselves a full-service restaurant group, The Mother Earth Group - featuring Something Classic & Daisy Catering; Something Classic Cafes on East Boulevard and in Uptown Charlotte with sandwich boutiques in three Harris Teeters and at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport; Community Cafe in Discovery Place, vegetarian restaurant, Fern, Flavors from the Garden; and fine dining restaurant Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth.
While every branch of The Mother Earth Group is individually unique, they all strive to support the same foundations and integrity that The Mother Earth Group was founded upon - nurturing one another, our community and the earth. From our hands-on employee training and dedication to local-area organizations and farmers to our very own green action program the Green Goddess Alliance, The Mother Earth Group is a brand with a stand, award-winning hospitality and a flavorful taste of our community.
Growing & Changing
We are inspired by our surroundings and travels everyday to bring our friends and clients new dining experiences that introduce you and your plate to something nostalgic that tells a story and bring you closer to where our food comes from. Whether we are serving you a simple chicken salad sandwich, hosting a Southern Heritage dinner at the James Beard House in New York or being featured as one of the premier caterers for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, we are grateful that you appreciate our point of view on a plate and help support us in our endeavors as we continue to grow.