Two US Students and their Cooking Business: Celestial Catering


Gabe Ewen, Staff Writer

On a crisp spring day a year ago, as the late afternoon sun began to dip beneath the horizon line, University School students Winston Massey and Chase Greppin (both class of 2024) lit an oven on fire. “Nothing bad happened,” Winston assures me during an interview with the US News in December. “It didn’t blow up… just a small fire on the bottom,” he says, chuckling. “We switched ovens,” he adds. Hearing their tone while telling this story of toppling margherita pizzas and exploding kitchen appliances, you’d think that small-scale kitchen arson was the most calming practice in the world for them. Both relax against the park bench outside, carefree, laughs coming easily as they recount the events of one of their first gigs under the Celestial Catering title.

“It was actually my grandma who came up with the idea,” Chase says, squinting into the sun. “Every weekend he would come to my house and I would come to his house, and we’d just cook stuff. My grandmother floated the idea, ‘you should make a catering company.’And I was like, ‘that sounds nice.’” The two laugh again. “So, I floated it by Winston, and he said, ‘why not?’ And one day, we just made a website.” Humble beginnings, for sure; Everyone has to start somewhere. Chase and Winston actually seemed to have preferred it to get off the ground this way.

When asked where they see themselves with cooking in twenty years, there was hesitation. “That’s a big question,” Winston responds, grinning. The hesitation was understandable; Big questions don’t need to be answered when you’re fifteen. Afterall, you’ve got a lot on your plate: school, family, friends and all the other gripes of being a teenager. In Chase and Winston’s case, a catering company. Why worry about the future when there’s so much to do in the present?

Type ‘Celestial Catering’ into your search bar, and all you’ll find is a list of established cafes and eateries spread throughout the country – a surprising amount of which call New Jersey home. With some extra digging, you’ll come across their Instagram handle, @celestial_catering, YouTube channel (their most recent video is a montage of all the cooking they did in the year 2021), and their website, a wixsite by the name of Virtually untraceable. In fact, the closest thing Chase and Winston have done to a marketing pitch is a presentation in their freshman English class last Spring. They’ve also spent several summer hours passing out flyers in Chagrin Falls and routinely posting pictures and videos of their culinary ventures on YouTube and Instagram. Of course, they also entered Celestial Catering in the Upper School’s entrepreneurship program.

So, the question persists: what is Celestial Catering? Furthermore, on a deeper note, what is cooking for Chase and Winston? A business? A career path? Or, a simple hobby to pass the time? They suspect the primary above the others. Not officially documented, yes, but a business nonetheless. Without a doubt, there is a mutual understanding between Chase and Winston that cooking is more than just a hobby but also maybe less than a lifestyle. They make videos and cook for friends and family because they love it. They stay up late on Friday nights to deliver chocolate chip muffins and snickerdoodle cookies to the US cross-country team early Saturday morning because they love it. Both of them still have a lot of life to live and a lot of decisions to make. Even if neither of them pursue a cooking career, the art of food itself will always remain a part of their lives. Perhaps Winston said it best when asked of his future relationship with the art form: “I’ll hopefully still be cooking a good bit.” We all hope so too, Winston.