The Synovation Valley Leadership Academy inspired a central Nebraska woman to rediscover her love for cooking and catering.
Melanie Boden operates a business in Ord on the downtown square called "Jubilee Catering". "I've always loved to cook," Boden said. "I was a food science and technology major, but I started a family and didn't quite finish that major. Years later, I went back to school and became a nurse." After Boden became a nurse, she became interested in a historic building in town, and she decided to purchase it in order to run a catering business on the side. That building ended up burning down, and Boden shelved her dream of catering. She continued to be involved in nursing, but a local person offered a building on the downtown square to Boden, after many people said she should pursue catering again. "That got me thinking, 'do I really want another building'? And the answer was yes," Boden said.
"Six years ago there was a class being offered. It was a leadership class called the Synovation Valley Leadership Academy," Boden said. The academy is funded in part through the Valley County Community Foundation Fund. "We had lots of opportunities to explore what was important to us. One of the exercises was 'dream-mapping' and what would your perfect world look like. It was through that exercise that I learned my interest in being an entrepreneur and being a caterer had not ended. It got me thinking about what was possible." Boden said she enjoyed being a nurse, but through the academy, goals were met and made, and now she has her catering business just to the north of the courthouse.
Her business isn't a restaurant, but she can handle up to 60 people by appointment in her building. She does have public hours every first and third Tuesday, and she is open for Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day brunches.