When Michelle Duggins left the medical field to pursue her love of cooking, she did not realize how quickly her catering business would succeed. As the sole owner of Michelle’s Table, Duggins has rapidly become one of the most in-demand caterers for local businesses and events. The love that she puts into each of her meals is clear, but the story of how Michelle’s Table came to be, and how Duggins has pursued her passion, is even more meaningful than her delicious food.
Duggins was a nurse for 13 years. After being furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she began looking for creative ways to to gain a source of income (as well as cure her quarantine boredom). When she began posting menu options on social media, local residents would purchase meals that Duggins would drop off at their homes. Two years ago, Duggins officially quit her day job, and has since succeeded in building her own catering business.
“There is so much involved in making a legal business, not just in Fredericksburg but anywhere,” Duggins said, noting that once she got through the practicalities of opening her business, Michelle’s Table was able to thrive. She said that following her passion as a career, while very physically challenging, has been incredibly rewarding.
“When I see the look on peoples’ faces, and when they tell how much they love my food, it makes it all worth it,” Duggins said.
Through Michelle’s Table, Duggins has participated in a number of pop-up events throughout the city of Fredericksburg, most recently at Casey’s. She has catered major events for organizations such as the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the first fashion show at the Bowman Center. Duggins said that the word of mouth and reputation that she has gained from these events has provided her with a massive client list that she has been able to fully utilize with Michelle’s Table.
“I have actually struggled to keep up,” Duggins joked, as she detailed just how many potential clients have wanted to hire Michelle’s Table for their events.
Michelle’s Table is known to cook a vast array of meal styles, from Chicken Parmesan for Okinawa taco bowls. It is imperative to Duggins that she makes all of her items from scratch, including her sauces and dressings.
Duggins has been married to her wife, Erin, for 10 years. Shortly after they were married in Maryland, same-sex marriage was declared legal throughout the United States, including Virginia. Duggins said that while she and Erin have felt unwelcome in certain areas of the commonwealth, the two of them have always felt welcome and accepted in Fredericksburg.
“Fredericksburg is a very diverse community,” she said. “I was raised here. I grew up here. And I have always felt welcome here, both as a person and as a business owner.
Duggins’ food is as unique as it is delicious, and Michelle’s Table has earned its place as one of the top catering businesses in the Fredericksburg region. Duggins is excited to grow Michelle’s Table even further, and as her business expands with a number of exciting, to-be-announced projects and advancements, she will continue feeding and serving the people of Fredericksburg.
Follow Michelle’s Table on Facebook.