Governor's Cup Wins in a Row
1 Jun 2023
Colleen and John Schoneweis, owners of Vintage Venue and Colleen's Catering, have spent over two decades catering weddings, corporate meetings, parties, dinners and charitable events. During that time, they were on the lookout for a building they could purchase and turn into an event space. “Very often, when working for Beatrice families and companies, we were catering events being held outside of the city. We wanted Beatrice to have an elegant event space that could be used by everyone and found our building after searching for seven years. When the previous owners decided to sell their downtown building, we were fortunate to be in a position to buy and renovate it,” said Colleen.
Colleen and John turned a downtown Beatrice building into Vintage Venue – the perfect event space for weddings, meetings and parties. Located in the historic heart of Beatrice, at Seventh and Court Street, Vintage Venue is a spacious 7,000-square-foot, modern-industrial space that is large enough to host up to 400 dinner guests, or a standing room cocktail party event for up to 600 guests. They wanted the space to be both beautiful and functional, and to highlight the historic charm of downtown Beatrice. They achieved this by using elements like refurbished carriage style doors, a 14-foot exposed beam ceiling, exposed brick walls and refurbished wood floors.
When asked what inspired them to start Vintage Venue in Beatrice, Colleen said, “My husband’s family has farmed here for the past three generations and I have lived here for thirty years. This is home and we wanted to create something special for the community. I see more and more people taking interest in finding and revitalizing buildings in downtown Beatrice and we are happy to be a part of that.”
Colleen’s Catering and Vintage Venue are a success, in part, because of Beatrice’s supportive environment. This is a community where startup businesses can succeed. “The community as a whole has been nothing but supportive. We were really taking a risk in not knowing if people would book our venue and find the value in what we were offering. This hasn't been a problem. We have booked multiple weddings, business training events, corporate Christmas parties and some non-profit events in the last fifteen months. We have been very fortunate to receive the support of our outstanding community,” said Colleen.
Even before Colleen and John opened Vintage Venue, they were having success with Colleen’s Catering. The catering company officially opened in 2008 and has been named “Gage County’s Favorite Caterer” for eight years in a row. This is likely because of their focus on making all of their food from scratch. Some fan favorites include Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips, Swedish Meatballs, Mini Cuban Sandwiches, Smoked Beef Brisket and the Inside Out Chicken Cordon Bleu, along with Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. By using the freshest ingredients, preparing everything from scratch and customizing menus based on the needs of clients, Colleen’s Catering is a Gage County staple.
The success of Colleen’s Catering and Vintage Venue is something that other businesses can also experience. Beatrice and Gage County are incredibly welcoming to new businesses, outside investment, and innovative ideas. We have land, existing buildings, people, and a supportive government – everything you need to succeed.
If you want to start a business in Gage County or you own a company and are interested in locating here – contact us. We would be happy to answer your questions and provide the information and support you need to turn your idea into a reality.
Governor's Cup Wins in a Row
Best States in America
(U.S. News and World Report, 2019)
Best State for Families
Best States for Veterans