Table + Teaspoon Aims to Change the Way We Entertain

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The Jane Setting is perfect for the holidays
The Jane Setting is perfect for the holidays

There are thousands of food blogs on the internet—and although some bloggers end up with a cookbook or in rare cases a culinary television show, most never move beyond their home kitchens. However, one local food lover has turned her blog into a service-oriented startup that is attempting to alter the current way we entertain. Allow us to introduce you to Table + Teaspoon, the on demand tablescape delivery service, and its founder, the lovely Liz Curtis. While studying for the bar exam in 2009, Curtis, who has no culinary background, was going stir crazy. When a friend stopped by and turned on the Food Network, she suddenly found herself watching the Barefoot Contessa. She thought, “I can do that. I can roast a chicken.”

Liz Curtis and one of her beautiful tablescapes
Liz Curtis and one of her beautiful tablescapes

What started out as a innocent lemon chicken turned into a obsession. Suddenly Curtis was no longer studying law, but devouring recipes instead. She shared her recipes with friends who encouraged her to document her trials and tribulations as a home cook on a blog. Curtis created Table + Teaspoon on a whim. “While I was corporate lawyering I was throwing a dinner party for 12 people, which is the amount that fits in my dining room, every 10 days,” Curtis told Haute Living from her expertly decorated Market Street showroom. “I was doing all the cooking, all the decor, everything, and the name Table and Teaspoon, meant the table which is the tablescape, and the teaspoon which is the food.” Although she passed that bar and was working as a lawyer, her heart wasn’t in litigation. “I didn’t hate it,” she says, “but it wasn’t something I wanted to do for seven days a week.”

The Monroe Setting
The Monroe Setting

In 2013, she quit law and tried to figure out how she could turn Table + Teaspoon into a company. “I realized I lacked street cred, so to get street cred, I would have to submerge myself in everything to do with entertaining and design,” she explains. “I ended up doing private catering and interior design projects, floral design, event design, weddings—everything. The idea was that I wanted to scale Table + Teaspoon into a company that would be considered a traditional startup, but I didn’t know how. By immersing myself in these different areas, I could figure out how to scale.” In June of 2015, she was dropping off a bunch of rented linens and dishes when she had her epiphany moment. “There are on demand chef services, so why not on demand tabletop design? If you could do a table top design the way you do Rent the Runway, everybody wins.”

The Table + Teaspoon showroom on Market Street
The Table + Teaspoon showroom on Market Street

Thus, Table + Teaspoon in its current form—as an on-demand rent-the-table delivery service—was born. Anyone planning a dinner party can choose from six different table settings. Each setting includes a reversible runner and napkins, plates, glasses, silverware, and little extras like place cards, taper candles, and paper straws. Once you’ve hosted the dinner, simply send everything back to the Table + Teaspoon team. You don’t even have to worry about washing anything! “What I want to do is make it so people who have no skills, no home economics, no cooking, and make it so they can host a party fearlessly. It doesn’t have to be that hard to entertain gracefully,” she says. “It’s geared toward people who don’t have time to make a basket made of chocolate, but want to entertain.”

Curtis designed all of the linens, plates, and silverware
Curtis designed all of the linens, plates, and silverware

Curtis oversees the shipping and sanitizing of dishware at her showroom across the street from Zuni Cafe at 1639 Market Street. The website officially launched in early August and Curtis hasn’t had a down moment since. When a shipment failed to reach a customer in time, she personally drove to LA to delivery it—even though it was her birthday. We aren’t the only ones who have been blow away by her dedication to helping people throw the ultimate dinner party—The Today Show and Martha Stewart have taken notice, too. With the holidays coming up, there are certainly no signs of slowing down for Curtis, which is a long way from being bored by the bar exam. Curtis and Table + Teapsoon is proving to be the little food blog that could.

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