Cured Catering breaks ground on new facility

Cured Catering is expanding again, this time by building a new facility in Dawson.

Owners Brian and Melissa Reilly, who started the business in 2017, held a May 22 groundbreaking at 10076 Old Route 36 in Dawson. Horve Builders is constructing a 10,000-square-foot building that will serve as the headquarters for Cured Catering’s operations.

click to enlarge Cured Catering breaks ground on new facility
Brian and Melissa Reilly, along with their seven children, took part in a May 22 groundbreaking ceremony for a new 10,000-square-foot headquarters in Dawson.

The couple, who live in Mechanicsburg, have been operating the business out of the former MacMurray College campus in Jacksonville since September 2022.  The Reillys leased the former McClelland Dining Hall and Annie Merner Chapel from Mike Hayes, who purchased most of the campus at auction in 2020 after the college closed.

“We still want to use that venue, but the idea has always been to get a little closer to home for the main part of the catering kitchen,” said Brian Reilly. “We look forward to continuing to work with Mike Hayes to do events over there.”

Cured Catering will also continue to hold events at The Bullard Country Chapel, the former Risen Savior Lutheran Church in Buffalo that the Reillys have converted to an event, wedding and live music venue.

“We completely renovated and restored it, along with the rectory next door that was built in the early 1900s,” said Reilly. “And it’s only three miles away from where we’re building.”

Reilly said after spending several years looking at potential locations in Jacksonville, Springfield and Decatur, new construction seemed like the best option.

“There aren’t very many kitchens built for catering,” he said. “A restaurant does 300 people on a good day; we might do 1,500. It’s a different type of thing that we need.”

click to enlarge Cured Catering breaks ground on new facility
Brian and Melissa Reilly started Cured Catering in 2017,
Reilly also hopes that the flex space in the new building will allow Cured Catering to host workshops and small events. He noted that Cured Catering recently launched a YouTube channel, Feasting with Fire, that highlights open-fire cooking.

“We’re looking at doing a lot more interactive events with the neighborhood farms,” said Reilly. “We want to create a show kitchen to be able to host workshops and feature local farmers. We’re going to be working with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance and working with our farms to get more local items on our menu.”

Reilly hopes to have the Dawson location operational by October.

“The sooner we can get into our community, the better. We really want to be closer to home,” he said.

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