Eten Catering

We had the pleasure to do an interview with Eten Catering – a renowned catering company in Fort Lauderdale that specializes in European food. The owners, Allison from England and Dirk from Belgium, started off their career working in the private yachting industry. After many years of catering high level food on world class yachts, they created their own catering company which is now having its 10-year anniversary.

Eten Catering specializes in corporate and special event catering. They provide a range of services from drop-off catering to full-service event planning in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach. With a great reputation, good connections with many local businesses, as well as their specialty of European food, it is not a surprise that Eten Catering  is expanding. Owner and Executive Chef, Dirk is a classically trained European chef who has over 20 years experience in Michelin star restaurants, private estates and yachts.

When asked why they chose to establish a business in Fort Lauderdale, Allison says that they had been coming in and out of the city since they worked in the yachting industry. This helped them to create many good connections and become familiar with the area and the people in Fort Lauderdale.   Since they both started to come to Fort Lauderdale over 20 years ago, the city has become busier and busier with lots of international people and companies which increases the opportunity to create valuable contacts. They support many non-profit organizations and really enjoy catering charity events. The downside according to Allison is the traffic which they are always having to take into consideration in order to ensure all their deliveries are on time.

Regarding sustainability and future goals, Eten Catering is introducing eco-friendly packaging and often use real glassware and plates during many of their events rather than using so much plastic. “As companies notice that Eten Catering is considering eco-friendly options, they contact us and want to work with us because of that”.

Their goal for the future is to continue to grow and expand their catering business in and around Fort Lauderdale and the South Florida Area.

We would like to thank Allison and Dirk at Eten Foods for giving us the opportunity to learn more about their catering company. Are you interested in being the next member standing in the spotlight? Please email info@sacc-sfl.org for more information.

Polatsek – Counsellors at Law

Last week we had the pleasure of meeting with Harry D. Polatsek- the founder of Polatsek, Counsellors at Law. Harry started his career in 1977 as a lawyer in New York and in 1983; he opened Polatsek Counsellors at Law, a firm specializing in immigration law. From the early 1980’s, he began representing Swedish clients that were involved in the horse business who were looking to move to the United States in order to start their careers. Today, the firm concentrates in the area of business and family immigration with clients from all over the world.

Mr. Polatsek describes the immigration process as having evolved tremendously over the years. The circumstances surrounding immigration today is different than it has ever been before. Historically, the visa process has been a manageable experience but in recent years, the procedure has become significantly stricter. According to Mr. Polatsek, you cannot take anything for granted and what was once a simple process has now become increasingly more challenging.

Polatsek Counsellors at Law is located in Fort Lauderdale, a city recognized as a melting pot of immigrants, making it a remarkable location for the firm. “Since there are so many people from all over the world coming to South Florida, it is an excellent place for this type of practice”, explains Mr. Polatsek. The firm works with many nationalities and their most common type of clients are investors or individuals seeking employment in professional, technical or specialty occupations.

The attorneys at Polatsek Counsellors at Law value personal relationships with their clients and encourage them to communicate any concerns or questions regarding their case. Additionally, the firm provides professional legal analysis and are cautious in selecting the cases that have the greatest opportunity for success. They aim for the highest level of efficiency and know how to provide their clients with the best results at the end of the day.

Vikand

Last week we had the opportunity to meet with Len Quist – Vice President and General 
Manager at VIKAND Solutions. It was a pleasure to meet Len, who is also one of the five 
founders and the former President of our Chamber.

The name VIKAND stands for “We can” or “Vi kan” in Swedish. The D stands for on demand 
and emphasizes the company’s flexibility and goal to meet their clients’ needs. VIKAND is an 
American based company, with global operations and with a dash of Swedish culture. 
VIKAND was founded in 2010. Len describes the organization as culturally diverse with a 
flat organizational structure. Working with almost 200 cruise vessels, their goal is to make life 
better at sea by providing excellent maritime medical services and improving health and 
hygiene on board. 

VIKAND offers a tailor-made medical service solution to fit each clients’ individual needs. This 
means running the onboard medical operations and providing biomedical services to over 
170 cruise ships. Besides the above services, VIKAND also offers various technical solutions, 
such as air purification systems that break down tobacco smoke, reduce and eliminate 
bacteria and viruses and even kill mold. Some other technical solutions include a bedbug 
solution, a wearable anti-sea and motion sickness, and equipment monitoring the 
effectiveness of employees’ hand washing routines.   

Working at sea is very different from working in a land-based environment. Running the 
medical operation onboard requires firsthand onboard experience, a good understanding of 
and an appreciation for the multi-cultural environment on board. The majority of VIKAND’s 
medical personnel have worked at sea and have extensive medical experience both at sea 
and ashore.  

So, what is the advantage of working in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? First of all, we are in close 
proximity to many of our clients that are based here in South Florida, Len explains. Fort 
Lauderdale and Miami are the world’s biggest home ports for cruise lines. The cost of doing 
business in Florida is less than in many other places in the US. Excellent international air 
travel options both to Europe and Latin America. Compared to the West coast, the lesser time 
difference allows us to communicate with our colleagues in Europe during business hours, as 
well as interacting with many of our clients that are also based out of Europe. Fort 
Lauderdale is very international with many European, Canadian and Latin Americans expats 
calling this home. “I lived in New York for many years and for its size Fort Lauderdale is truly 
a global melting pot”. Several Scandinavian companies have established themselves in this 
area and not to forget – Fort Lauderdale is also the yachting capital of the world.  

 With sustainability in mind, VIKAND sells equipment and products with long life-expectancy. 
VIKAND’s future goal is to expand into commercial shipping and also to become a remote 
location medical service provider. “Our company and our staff work hard trying to make a 
real difference to our clients on land and at sea”.