Fork It Over
Cloud Nine Cuisine Offers Event Catering & Ready-to-eat Meal Solutions
Photographer: Amy Payne
When Mary Piggott and Amy Huffman, owners of Noblesville-based Cloud Nine Cuisine, officially opened the business on October 8 of last year, they had a feeling their concept would catch on locally, not least because the partners planned to offer a service that they themselves felt a strong need for.
Cloud Nine Cuisine offers catering for corporate and special events of all types, as well as family and individual meal solutions that can be tailored to dietary needs. Both partners have busy families constantly on the go and realized early on in the business’s formation that there would likely be many other Northside families in similar situations that could use some help at mealtimes.
“With our lifestyles, we actually needed a resource like this,” Piggott says. “I think it’s a dilemma for all types of people and families — how do you put a healthy, delicious and affordable meal on the table when you’re crazy busy?”
Customers interested in Cloud Nine Cuisine’s meal solutions can choose from a menu published on the company’s Facebook page monthly and either pre-order from the menu or choose from daily specials that are also posted online. As Cloud Nine’s chef, Piggott strives to maintain a wide variety with choices like cheddar garlic chicken breast with Italian peas and roasted potatoes, southwest salad with chicken tortilla soup, lasagna with or without meat served with a garden salad and breadsticks and more.
“We thought the meal planning was going to be secondary to the catering and corporate services we do, but we’re finding the demand for that is really high and people are excited,” Piggott says. “It meets the needs of both types of people — those who have certain days of the week that are busy and really need to plan ahead, and then those like me who take it one day at a time.”
The company’s event catering falls into Italian Feast, Mexican Fiesta, Backyard BBQ, Heavy Apps and Home Cookin’ categories, and food selections can be customized for special events.
“With our corporate events, we’re doing stuff that you wouldn’t always expect to be brought in when you think of corporate luncheons and that kind of thing,” Huffman adds. “We did chili with salad and cornbread for a group of architects and they went crazy.”
Both long-time Central Indiana residents, Piggott and Huffman met several years back when their kids began school together and started discussing the Cloud Nine concept last spring. With a background in sales, Piggott had been contemplating starting a food-related business, and when Huffman got wind of the idea she was instantly intrigued. By May of 2017, they found themselves building out the Cloud Nine Cuisine space on Hague Road.
“Last year, I catered my son’s graduation party for about 300 people and found that I enjoyed it, and eventually I ran into Amy at a school carnival and talked about starting this,” Piggott says. “Her background is in marketing, and it seemed like we’d make a good team. That carnival was on a Friday, and by that Monday we had agreed that we were going to do this together.”
Piggott and Huffman occasionally recruit family members to help out with kitchen and cleaning duties, and all Cloud Nine operations are otherwise carried out solely by the duo. Although Piggott says her customer base is growing at such a pace that they’ll likely have to bring on additional staff later this year.
Pre-ordered meals can be customized to fit dietary needs including vegetarian, gluten-free and low carb options, and Cloud Nine also offers kids’ school lunches, adult work lunches and seasonal rotating desserts.
Huffman says Cloud Nine’s business model represents a step beyond meal kit delivery options that have gained traction in recent years.
“With services like HelloFresh, the ingredients are sent to you but you still have to take the time to cook,” says Huffman, who worked as a nurse prior to co-founding Cloud Nine Cuisine. “With us, it’s hot and ready to enjoy, and the community can feel good that this food is what they might have made in their own kitchen with the same ingredients. And we try to be as minimally processed as possible, just like grandma would’ve made.”
Cloud Nine Cuisine is located at 20817 Hague Road in Noblesville. For additional information including menu details, corporate catering info and more, call 317-774-5398 or visit them online at cloudninecuisine.com.