Meet Your Local Maker: Dawn and Chef Marty Deardorf of Aurora Catering

Join us as we shine the spotlight on the business owners, craft artisans, and makers of Castro Valley!

From heartwarming wedding celebrations and collaborative team building exercises, to community fundraisers and joyous birthday festivities, events are a major part of our lives as they mark important milestones and provide opportunities to collaborate and socialize with friends and family. However, in the last five months, our ability to gather has drastically changed.


While this has affected many of us on a personal level, an entire industry of professionals dedicated to catering and event planning, has nearly come to a grinding halt. Folks like Dawn and Chef Marty Deardorf of Aurora Catering, who have provided the Bay Area with these services for the past 12 years, have had to drastically adapt to the rapidly changing environment.


Responding to California’s Shelter-In-Place orders back in March, Dawn and Chef Marty pivoted to offer seasonal inspired chef-made family dinners to Castro Valley residents, and actively support the community in providing meals for those in need.


It comes to no surprise that Dawn and Chef Marty’s initial reaction to quarantine was to figure out how to help those most impacted in their community: for nearly two decades, Aurora Catering has offered their catering and event planning services in sponsoring local activities and events. As members of the Castro Valley / Eden Area Chamber of Commerce for over a decade, Aurora Catering has catered the chamber’s annual Eden Awards celebration and provided packaged meals for the local county Meals on Wheels.

In order to donate meals to low-income seniors and families and individuals facing food insecurity, Aurora Catering partnered with the Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Activities League (DSAL), to support their endeavor and provide operational structure. Eventually, Dawn and Marty reached out to Michael Kusiak of Castro Valley Matters and the Feed Eden campaign with whom they were able to provide 577 warm meals and 400 morale-boosting brownies to frontline workers at Eden Medical Center.

At the moment, they are taking donations for the Meal to Heal program to provide at least 50 meals to Alta Bates Hospital front line workers.

“They both have such a positive outlook on life and genuinely care about people, and that really comes through in their food, says Ashley Strasburg, Executive Director of the Castro Valley / Eden Area Chamber of Commerce. “I am so lucky to have Aurora Catering as a chamber member and our communities are better because of Dawn and Marty.”

While they have not catered one of their typical events since early March, Dawn and Chef Marty’s passion and energy for their love of food and community has not been dampened. It has allowed them to creatively interact with the needs of their customers by offering chef-made meals for pick-up and delivery, while putting their expertise and skills to use for who need a hand.


You can show support for Aurora Catering by checking out their weekly menu of chef-made family dinners, and consider donating to their meal program for hospital staff!