(231) 383-5156Elberta, Michigan 49628

Who We Are

Who is The Crystal Lake Catering Company

Our crew consisting of professional bartenders, servers, hardworking and talented chefs and sous chefs draw upon a wealth of experience to operate seamlessly and efficiently with considerate, unobtrusive and outstanding service. With over twenty years experience in the food service industry, we can be creative, flexible and we have developed great working relationships with some of our community’s most talented and sought after special event vendors.

Jim Barnes

Owner and Executive Chef

In 1988, Jim graduated from The School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a degree in philosophy.

In 1990 he purchased Northern Delights, a Natural Foods Bakery and Deli specializing in vegetarian foods prepared by a great group of local hippies. Shortly after the acquisition, he added a cafe by incorporating table side service, applied for, and was awarded a Class C Resort Beer and Wine license from the State of Michigan. At that point, he started to serve very well prepared dinners with ethnic flare using the freshest and highest quality ingredients.

Northern Delights Cafe, Bakery and Deli became a cultural mecca providing weekly coffee house series and monthly ethnic dinners, wine tastings and art receptions. As owner and operator of Northern Delights, he was recognized by the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council as “Environmentalist of the Year” in 1991.

In 1999, he upgraded from the beer and wine to a liquor license and created The Roadhouse, a Mexican Bar and Grill. Three years later he sold it.

In the summer of 2002, he formed The Crystal Lake Catering Company, providing upscale catering services to well established clients from his two previous businesses. He continues to operate it on a seasonal basis.

In March of 2006, he established Eco-Building products. Eco-BuildingProducts.com As the owner, his primary role is directing sales and marketing.

In 2011, NMEAC renominated him for Environmentalist of the Year twenty years after he had been awarded that title. That same year, his new company, Eco-Building Products was recognized as Northwest Lower Michigan’s Small Business of the Year by The Small Business Development and Technology Center.