A New Chapter
Ridgewells' Renovated Headquarters, 2022
A BRIEF HISTORY
In May of 1908, a 25-year old English man by the name of Charlie Ridgewell, born and raised on the Isle of Wight, waited on the docks in Southampton to board the SS Philadelphia. He had very little in his possession: a ticket for a third class cabin on the ship that was to take him to America, a letter of recommendation as a valet from the prestigious Osborne House - the beloved summer home of Queen Victoria - recommending him for service in the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., and a single steamer trunk to carry his belongings.
Twenty years later, from their modest home on 18th Street in what is today’s Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Ridgewells Catering was formed. Charlie and his wife Marguerite, a Paris-born cook who had also immigrated to the United States to work in the nearby French Embassy, combined their culinary and hospitality experience, and set out to build something magnificent of their own.
Across an Ocean
Pictured Below: 2411 18th Street, Washington, D.C., Charlie and Marguerite's first home, and the birthplace of Ridgewells Catering in 1928.
Looking to the Future...
WHILE HONORING OUR PAST.
Ridgewells Catering was passed through the Ridgewell and Ellis family for three generations. During that time, the company took part in many exceptional moments of U.S. history - including 16 presidential inaugurations as of today. In 1997, Ridgewells was purchased by our current CEO and Principal, Susan Lacz. Susan had worked for the company for several years and spearheaded its Major Events division. When the opportunity arose to purchase the company at a time when its business was struggling, she knew she wanted to be the one to carry its legacy into the future.
Susan has since led the company with a keen eye for keeping things fresh and modern, while never compromising on the values and standards of hospitality that the company was founded on nearly 100 years ago. Today, Ridgewells is an award-winning business with an exceptionally talented and diverse team, and widely regarded as one of the nation’s top privately-held catering companies.
In February of 2022, Ridgewells broke ground on a sweeping renovation of its Bethesda, Maryland headquarters - its home for more than 35 years. They celebrated the completion of the first phase of those renovations in December of 2022 at a press-attended ribbon cutting. The new modern facility is completely state-of-the-art, and will carry Ridgewells forward for many years to come.
A photograph of the Ridgewells staff in front of our Bethesda headquarters. At that time, our workforce represented over 50 countries.
Nearly 40 years later, our workforce is as talented and diverse as ever, with employees hailing from all over the world. Pictured here are many of our exceptional people, in the same location as above at our newly renovated headquarters!
We frequently find vintage Ridgewells items in online marketplaces. In fact, they're often purchased by local non-profits for museum collections. Best finds so far: a vintage set of silver cuff links (pictured here), with the original peacock logo, and old matchbooks.
Want to learn more about our history? There's an entire book! Click the image to the left to visit on Amazon. All proceeds go to the author and Ellis family.