After almost 19 years serving food in Cortez, Seas’nings has closed.
The catering service, which Karen Sheek and Holly Tatnall started in 1998, catered weddings, business events and celebrations throughout the county. It closed on Jan. 1. The main Seas’nings location, on Madison Street in Cortez, is set to become a private residence again.
Sheek and Tatnall said they loved running a catering business, but they decided to close because the job had become too physically demanding. The two women regularly cooked meals for hundreds of people, in addition to supplying several local coffee shops with breakfast burritos and pastries. And although Sheek’s husband sometimes helped by running errands and supplying the kitchen, they never hired any other employees. Sheek, who turned 70 in November, said she wasn’t sure how much longer they would be able to do it on their own.
But the decision also came out of both women’s desire to free up their schedules for other things. They both said they would like to travel more, and their two-person business didn’t allow them to take much time off.
“It was just a question of there being lots of other interests, and there are only so many hours in the day,” Sheek said.
When Seas’nings first started, it was the only company in the Cortez area that was specifically dedicated to catering. But Tatnall said things have changed since then, and she doesn’t think their service’s departure will “leave a void” in the community. Many local restaurants, such as Stonefish Sushi and The Farm Bistro, now offer their own catering, and Once Upon a Sandwich has offered catering since before Seas’nings started. Sheek and Tatnall have left some of their most popular recipes, like their signature breakfast burritos, with the Silver Bean and Spruce Tree Espresso House, the coffee shops they supplied for several years.
Now that Seas’nings is closed, Tatnall said she plans to focus more on her part-time job as a tour guide at Mesa Verde, as well as her work with the Cortez Cultural Center, where she helps with tours and sometimes teaches cooking classes. She also hopes to keep on serving meals for family and friends.
“I can’t imagine not cooking,” she said.
As mayor of Cortez and a member of several other boards in the city, Sheek should also have plenty to do with her free time, but she said she still wants to find another part-time job.
“I think it’s important to stay out there, stay engaged,” she said.