Finding Good Auto Insurance for Your Catering Van


Car insurance is a vital necessity for any driver in the Richmond and Henrico VA area. If a person is stopped by a police officer, his or her proof of auto insurance is almost always requested. Those who are unable to furnish the necessary documents generally receive citations. The driver may also be subjected to additional fines or even jail time, depending on the individual circumstances.

Driving without insurance also leads to other complications in one’s life, such as liability if the driver causes damage to another vehicle or person. Being sued for such damages is financially devastating in many cases, and, therefore, it is imperative to have the appropriate coverage. For this reason, those who are uninsured should consider the following tips and locate a reputable car insurance company as soon as possible:


Comparison Shopping

Cost and coverage vary considerably from one car insurance agency to the next, and, therefore, comparison-shopping is the consumer’s best course of action when searching for the most appropriate policy. However, the driver must give thought to the amount of coverage he or she needs, and this varies from one motorist to another, depending on where the driver lives and the type of vehicle the policy will cover. For example, if the person’s car is rather old with a high number of miles, it may be in the driver’s best interest to purchase a liability only policy. If, on the other hand, the car is new and in very good condition, collision and vandalism should be added to the coverage. Similarly, if one lives in an area where car theft is a problem, a policy that covers theft should be selected. If the car is kept in a garage in a relatively safe neighborhood, theft coverage may not be needed.


How Rates are Calculated

When comparison shopping, it is also important to understand how rates are calculated, as each car insurance company has a slightly different approach to how they arrive at specific rates. For instance, agencies weight various aspects differently, with some giving more scrutiny to the type of car being covered and the policyholder’s credit history, and others paying more attention to the person’s age and driving record. Therefore, when shopping around, it is wise to ask how each company calculates policy prices.


Recommendations and Reviews

Almost all Richmond car insurance agents state that their company offers the best rates. Nevertheless, savvy customers know this cannot be the case. Therefore, the prospective client must aggressively solicit the most competitive rates. The easiest way to search for the best rates is to read online reviews and obtain recommendations from relatives and friends.

When collecting quotes from various companies, the driver should not hesitate to tell each agent about lower rates offered by competitors. In many cases, an insurance company will tell a customer they were given the lowest quote, but when the driver turns them down in lieu of a less expensive policy from another agency, the first company suddenly provides an additional discount.

Acquiring recommendations from friends and relatives is also in one’s best interest. If the company provided good rates and service for one customer, it is safe to assume they will do so for the next. Ultimately, the automobile insurance industry is a very competitive field and this is something that essentially always works in the consumer’s favor. Finding the best car insurance is an activity in which one must invest in a suitable amount of time, but most motorists discover that the benefits of driving under appropriate insurance coverage make it well worth the effort.

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Caterers: How to Find the Best Preschool for Your Child

As a busy caterer with children, it can be hard to take time out of your day to find the right preschool. Preparing food and running events can create a grueling weekly schedule. However, early childhood education is the foundation of their knowledge and learning path- it is essential to take your time and do thorough research to find the best learning center for your child.

Considerations when choosing a preschool

Through simple comparison of location, cost, length of school day, and the quality of classrooms plus the playground, it may be obvious where you will take your toddler for the first school formative year. True, these are important factors, but they are fairly obvious.

To begin with, you may want to make an early call and arrange for a school a tour. It may be a very good idea to plan an initial visit when you go alone and then follow up later with your child to observe how he or she functions and fits into the preschool program.

Here are a couple useful considerations to take into account to ensure that you are getting the best preschool.

The School Director

The school’s director may not ideally be present in the day-to-day school activities of your child, but she or he is extremely important. This is because the director is in charge of setting the school curriculum, recruiting and motivating teachers as well as managing the school.

Whatever the style, the director must be seen to be effective in running a school that is successful, keeps the teachers enthusiastic, minimizes staff turnover and most importantly, keeps your child in a safe learning environment.

Arrange to have a meeting and inquire about the school’s philosophy and policies on issues like safety, health, teacher’s values and discipline. What is the director’s larger vision for the school?

The Preschool Teaching Staff

While there are lots of school philosophies around, most likely they are not going to either make or break the experience or career of your child. Additionally, and perhaps the most important consideration are the preschool teachers. Incidentally, this is also the most challenging factor to evaluate. The best preschool teacher is the one who easily bonds with your kid and makes him or her feel safe. That kind of connection helps your kid to learn faster and easily. Pay the school classroom a visit at some point of the day and observe the free as well as directed kid play. Are the kids being encouraged to become social and inquisitive? Does the teacher crouch to the kid’s level, engage them and pose open-ended questions?

The School Calendar

This becomes a very important factor for parents who work. Will the school calendar fit well with your working schedule? What other scheduled school days involving parents do they plan?


Besides being easily approachable, you need to find out if the preschool teachers are easily available for chats during morning drop off and evening pick up. Do the teachers provide the parents with their email addresses? Do they respond to emails from parents?

It is known that most schools send out newsletters that update parents about ongoing classroom activities. Does the school’s newsletter or email updates come on a regular basis? Is the feedback personalized or generic?

School Cancellation Policy

Money is certainly a big factor when it comes to selecting a preschool. However, besides the tuition, you also need to know if any deposits are refundable or not. What is the school’s withdrawal policy? If you were to shift, would they refund you part of the tuition?

Final Verdict

Selecting a preschool for your child is both a daunting and exciting prospect. Regardless of the attributes you are searching for, begin your researching early on. Then submit applications to a number of schools because space in good preschools is often limited. Remember, every parent wants their child to be in that particular top quality school. Make your move and start early.

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Planning a Senior’s Birthday Party

Birthday cakeMy grandmother’s 80th birthday is coming up, and for a long time I’ve really been wanting to do something special for her. Most of her children and grandchildren, including myself, are busy working a lot and don’t live in the Indianapolis area like she does – so she doesn’t often get to get out of the house and visit with family. I thought it would be a great idea to throw a big party for her, and have the entire family reunite to celebrate.  I’ve been slowly gathering supplies for the party, like decorations and favors to hand out to guests, as well as finding and booking a catering service. My grandma’s been around for 80 years – she’s traveled the world and eaten all sorts of exotic foods. You know we’re going to have great food at the party for her!

Because her health has been getting worse over the past few years, we got her set up with a caregiver at Seniors Helping Seniors, an organization that provides senior care in Carmel and Indianapolis. A couple times each week, Cindy comes by to help out my grandmother. Sometimes she takes her out to the grocery store, sometimes she helps her with some cooking and housecleaning, and other times they just go out for coffee together. It’s a relief knowing that my elderly grandma not only has someone in the area to care for her, but also a companion to talk with when she feels lonely or stressed. I called Cindy a couple days ago to let her in on the “big secret,” and she thought it was a wonderful idea. I asked her to help me make a list of things that would make my grandmother happy on her very special day, and she suggested having a buffet table with Cajun food – one of my grandmother’s favorite cuisines. We’re also going to have a bunch of purple balloons (her favorite color) and lilacs strewn throughout the venue. Cindy has been such a great friend and senior caregiver for my grandmother, and she’s also been so much help to me in making this birthday a huge success. Let’s hope it all goes well!

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Refrigerators, The Most Important Tool in Your Kitchen

Common Refrigerator Problems and How to Fix Them

working refrigeratorThe refrigerator is probably the most essential appliance in your home. Its something you need to keep working properly at all times to keep food fresh. When it breaks, expensive food can go bad without the ability to replace it until the problem is fixed. While most of the time its best to call an appliance repair technician such as those at when these happens, its always a good idea to know what the problem might be so you know what to expect.

Stuck Fridge Fans

The first of the most common problems people often have with their refrigerators is the stuck fridge fan. When you open your fridge, you should hear a fan spinning from the cooling process. However sometimes the blades of the fan get stuck on the side of the opening causing it to shut off. This is a big problem for the proper functioning of your fridge. Typically all you need is a screwdriver to open the casing and make sure the fan is seated properly to fix this.


Next, you might be experiencing a dripping ceiling. If this is excessive then you may have a clogged condensation drain, something which should be addresses quickly. If there is only a small amount of dripping then its most likely just ice from food melting from the freezer overhead.

Air Compressor Problems

The compressor not running is another common problem. If you listen closely there should be a low humming sound, different from that of the fan we addresses earlier. If this is the case then the starter of the compressor is the most likely suspect and it probably needs to be replaced.

Sealing Gaskets

Another problem you might be experiencing are simply having torn side gaskets. Without properly functioning gaskets, you refrigerator is not well insulated and will have to work overtime just to keep food items cool. This can lead to other problems down the road too as it stresses out this essential appliance in your home causing other parts to fail. To avoid this, make sure you clean them regularly while you are whipping our your fridge. Be careful of sticky foods on them as they can tear gaskets apart over time as you frequently open and close your fridge.

Is your Fridge Balanced?

The final problem is one that might seem like it would not be a big deal but it is. Im talking about your fridge being off balance. One way to be able to tell if its balance is if it closes by itself gently. It should lean back ever so slightly so the condensate drain can work properly. Typically there is an adjustable wheel on the bottom of the fridge that you can use to angle it properly.

The best way to not have a refrigerator failure is to take care of it, along with the rest of your kitchen . Make sure it is level, not overstuffed with outdated food and clean it regularly. If you do run into an issue you should check for common problems such as those I mentioned above and then call an appliance repair service if you are not able to deal with the problem yourself. Keep your fridge happy so you can cook fresh food whenever you want!


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Last-Minute Catering

Planning My First Engagement Party

Providing food for a party is much easier and cheaper when you have the capability of planning ahead and cooking yourself. However, when my cousin got engaged, I didn’t have much time to plan the party! One weekend, her boyfriend proposed to her on a beach vacation and the next weekend they were looking at jewelers in Richmond VA. I had only planned a couple of birthday parties in the past, so I knew I would have to quickly get to work planning a menu. I wasn’t quite sure where to begin because this was a new experience.

DIY Isn’t Always the Best

At first, I made the classic mistake of looking at Pinterest for ideas. First of all, this was extremely overwhelming. There were thousands of ideas for cupcakes and desserts alone. They also showed everything decorated and displayed perfectly. I can cook, but I am not an artistic person. It didn’t take much time for me to start looking for caterers in the area.

I knew it would be more expensive to work with caterers, but it was worth it! Once I decided to host the party in my backyard; decorating the area, cleaning my house, and making invitations was all I had time for. Fortunately, the caterers were flexible and it only took one quick appointment to plan out the menu.

Planning the Menu

My family members are big advocates of southern cooking, so I decided that it was safest to stick with that theme. For the main menu, we put together a selection of grilled chicken, spicy pork barbeque, biscuits, mashed potatoes, and bean salad. Then, we decided to get a little bit more sophisticated with the appetizers. We came up with salmon puffs, sausage stuffed mushrooms, and fruit salad with a honey yogurt dressing. Dessert was the easiest part- all we had to do was pick the right flavor and style of cake and an alternative gluten free option (which ended up being strawberries dipped in regular and white chocolate).

These simple menu items were not only reasonably priced, but they all tasted great! My family was impressed with the spread I put together- especially on such short notice. I was able to pull off a great event in minimal time with the help of these caterers. I would recommend finding someone within your price range who can accommodate the style of food you need while taking allergies into account. If you can find a place that has these 3 things covered, you should be happy with the results! I found this particular caterer by comparing menus online and deciding what selection sounded like something my family would really love.

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Fixing Up Your Kitchen

Kitchen lighting

Whether you are a professional chef or love to cook for your family, it is important to make sure that your kitchen is properly equipped. Investing in a great dishwasher, second oven, and granite or marble counter tops are great ways to make sure your kitchen has everything you need and is a place you enjoy spending time. One important factor that many people overlook in these rooms is the lighting.

Lighting is usually something people focus on in bedrooms, bathrooms, and family rooms before their kitchens. Some may even buy a chandelier to enhance layered lightingcertain rooms with high ceilings. These are areas where people spend most of their time relaxing and need the additional light to read or concentrate on the details of whatever hobby they picked up. The kitchen should not go overlooked! It is a great place to add some lighting because you need to be able to read your cookbooks and see the ingredients you are working with as clearly as possible. So where do you begin?

To decide what kind of lighting you would like, look at different options online. Many people like having hanging lights throughout their kitchen. For instance, hanging lights above tables and counter tops gives some extra brightness to these areas and looks great!

Layered lighting is the technique of adding lights to create a sense of depth in your kitchen. Aside from the regular lights in the ceiling, these additional fixtures can be decorative or creative. You can change the whole mood of a room with special bulbs and tinted shades.

To install a new lighting system, meet with an electrician in Salt Lake City UT. They will help you design the best system for your home, staying safe, energy efficient, and in compliance with your state codes. While your at it, consider having a home inspection to avoid potentially hazardous electrical situations.

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Food Safety Tips: Check Your Plumbing System

Craw-fish, cheese straws, and batter-fried pork chops; the Mississippi Delta is known for its deliciously indulgent southern style foods. Running a kitchen in a restaurant is a high paced environment with multiple tasks that need to be handled simultaneously. One of the most important items that could easily get overlooked is your water supply. Clean water is essential for an overall healthy kitchen. Think of all the scenarios in which water comes into play. From food preparation to cleaning cutlery and dishware water touches practically every aspect of a restaurants kitchen. It plays such a large role in fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has dedicated an entire chapter to water, plumbing, and waste as outlined in their Guidance & Regulation Food Code document for Retail Food Protection. In the document they set standards for proper water sourcing, quality standards, and approved materials for construction/installation.

There are three main plumbing service aspects to keep in mind when it comes to a commercial kitchen:
1. Proper Floors and Draining System
When designing the layout of your commercial kitchen it is important to keep in mind your floors. You want to design a space with adequate sloping that can properly carry waste to the waste drains. Drains should also be fitted with traps or screens to prevent clogging or improper disposal issues. Positioning drains so they are located beneath outlets can help minimize bacteria and reduce the frequency of necessary sanitation.

2. Know Your Cross-Connections
This is important because you plumbing system shouldn’t have any cross-connections between the plumbing lines. You do not want your plumbing systems mixing with one another. Cross-connections are more likely to produce airborne contamination that has been proven to lead to food related illnesses.

3. Back-flow Valves/Devices
All plumbing and water main lines should contain back-flow valves. Back-flow devices are designed to force open when water pressure flows out of the water line. When a faucet is shut off the valve seals shut and prevents water from being contaminated. These valves should be inspected, tested and certified by expert plumbers in Oxford at least once a year. That way any potential issues can be handled before they cause major damage which could be potentially very costly.

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Delicious Catering for a Wedding

Not long ago I found out my best friend from childhood was going to get married in just a few short months. If you knew him and his fiancé, you would know they are not the type to set a date and wait a year carefully planning for the wedding. Things have always been a bit last minute for the both of them so its no surprise they thought they could get everything ready for the ceremony in three months from February to May. They quickly realized however they were going to need some help.

I was delighted when I was asked to be the best man and quickly responded that I would gladly be up to the task. Shortly afterwards I was asked to help with another part of the wedding. I was also to be in charge of the catering, something which I knew nothing about. Fortunately I had heard from a past friend that DeFazios Catering service is one of if not the best caterers in the entire Central Virginia area around Richmond. So I gave them a call as soon as I could and also looked up some tips online to figure out what some good food combinations were.

catering for a wedding in VirginiaAfter talking to a member of the DeFazios staff on the phone I was relieved to hear some additional advice about what sorts of foods would be appropriate for the wedding. After choosing a great menu full of delicious appetizers, prime rib strips, salads, many deserts I knew I had made a good choice. They were even going to send a real chef to serve the food.

The bride chose great arrangements of flowers and everything else surprisingly came together as well with a little bit of help from various friends and family members. It was a real treat watching my friend get married and I was glad I could be a part of the moment and the ceremony.

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Keep Your Kitchen On Top of Safety Regulations

Fortunately, there are extremely strict regulations around food safety in the U.S. The codes that food service locations have to adhere to help prevent foodborne illnesses and protect the health of the general public. While visits from health department inspectors come relatively frequently, there is a lot that a kitchen can do to put on a good face for the hour or so that regulatory agencies are there. Even as a restaurant owner or general manager, you will want to make sure your employees follow the safe practices that you trained them on when they were hired. Here are some tips to make sure your business is safe from being shut down any time safety eggs

Take a step back from the hustle of running food and reacting to timers going off to observe your kitchen staff. Are frozen or refrigerated foods left on top of the cooling unit inbetween use? Are employees adequately washing their hands and changing gloves after touching raw meat and allergens like peanut oil?

Don’t let standards slide for end of night cleaning. The morning crew should never have to come in and make up for the laziness of the night team. Everyone is tired at their end of their shift, but food safety is a non-negotiable item. Hire a professional cleaning service to do a deep clean of the dining room or kitchen every few months. When your staff gets used to working in a grimy environment they don’t feel pride in their job or your business. When the place is clean and really shines, morale will be higher too.

Finally, when your cooks aren’t expecting it, check to see if they are using timers appropriately to cook food to safe temperatures and to not keep anything under a warmer past its approved holding time. You want to perform these kinds of checks not during a peak meal time, but also not when your staff have nothing to do except anticipate your watchful eye.

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Commercial Kitchen Safety Tips

In the catering or restaurant business, food itself is only a fraction of what goes into running a culinary business. Many skills go into operating a commercial kitchen. Safety is one of the most important factors to consider when running a kitchen staff. Listed below are 5 things to keep in mind in regards to commercial kitchen safety. You should also check out the FDA’s regulations.

Appliance Repair AlpharettaThe Less Traffic the Better: Have you ever heard that expression too many cooks in the kitchen? Well it’s a popular saying for a reason. Keeping your cooking area to as little staff as possible will help you to avoid potential kitchen dangers. Common problems that arise with overcrowding in the kitchen include, dropping food, burns, and slipping on a slick floor.

Tell Your Employees to Keep Their Personal Food and Drink Outside: Employees should only drink and eat food during their designated break times is a separate area. Intermingling employee food with customer food can lead to failing a health inspection, spills on commercial kitchens appliances, or making a messy and unsafe food preparation environment.

Tuck in Loose Fitting Clothing: This may sound like a silly and common sense tip but it is all too forgotten when working in a commercial kitchen environment. Loose clothing can get caught in appliance machinery or even catch fire. Having an employee uniform and appearance standard can help to ensure that everyone is abiding to safety rules and standards.

Keep Appliances and Ventilation Systems Clean: Many commercial kitchen appliances are over sized and require more ventilation than your average kitchen at home. Most restaurant ranges and deep fryers need to be kept under a kitchen hood. A kitchen vent hood removes toxic fumes and helps to remove heat while circulating interior air. If vent hoods become clogged they are no longer able to function and remove harmful gasses from the air. This is why it is important to do regular appliance maintenance and repairs throughout your commercial kitchen.

Take it Slow: When turning up the heat in the kitchen, take it slow. Turning on any appliance or burner to full blast automatically could be a potential fire hazard while wasting energy. Take the time to prepare quality food while keeping safety in mind and your guests will be sure to come back for more.

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Welcome to Divine Street Catering

With more than a decade under my belt in the culinary industry, I wanted to share an insider's perspective on the restaurant world so readers like you can find the best food in town and support restaurants that are committed to high standards of taste and cleanliness. Please, enjoy my advice and musings on local cuisine and write in with any questions you might have.

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