About Our Team
About Our Team
Our Mission Statement:
“To prepare phenomenal food and deliver legendary service. We strive to delight and inspire with each and every catering.”
The Testa Catering Family has a combination of over 75 years of experience in the restaurant and catering industries. Testa Catering has become the largest caterer in Northern Santa Barbara County and services clients from the Napa Valley to the border of Mexico, to Arizona and everywhere in between. Testa Catering is locally owned by Martin & Debi Testa and has been voted "Best Caterer" by readers of the Santa Maria Sun for ten years running.
Testa Catering started in 1983, specializing in the World Famous Santa Maria Style BBQ. Testa’s BBQ Team has mastered the craft of Red Oak Fired BBQ while the chefs in the kitchen have created menus with international influences and flavors. Our food begins with the best, freshest, local products available. Our approach begins with your vision. Our attention to every detail will leave you assured that your event will be a success.
From small, intimate, five-star dining to large parties of 2000 or more, we would love to cater for you. From your home or venue to the beautiful ranches and wineries of the Central Coast, the Testa Team is ready to make your event a memorable one.
Martin and Debi Testa have reinvested in the company numerous times to provide state-of-the-art equipment and mobile kitchens. The Testa team features an extensive and experienced staff to handle multiple events per day without compromising on service, quality or attention to detail.
The Testa Family also owns and operates Testa's Bistro, a unique private event restaurant that accommodates up to 55 guests. Testa’s also serves as the exclusive food service caterer at Allan Hancock College and operates the Campus Market Food Court.
The Testa Catering Team
“The decision is yours, the pleasure is ours”
Martin is fourth generational born and raised on the Central Coast. His career started out in produce, first helping his father with their Sonny Boy Carrots packaging plant and later on to harvesting for Bunny Luv Carrots. The long days, sometimes challenging conditions and managing a large work force was a good background to start his career as a caterer. Martin developed his passion into a career. Preparing and serving fine food and teaching others around the bbq pit quickly grew as more people requested his services. Testa Catering grew from catering for family and friends to catering the largest events on the Central Coast.
Martin attended Hancock College and Bakersfield College. The opportunity to work with many interesting chefs, taking culinary classes, and attending industry training in his early years gave Martin the experience to venture out on different types of menus and event venues.
Martin has always been involved with the local community. He was President of the Boys & Girls Club, SM Chamber board member, SM chamber business person of the year, Voted best entrepreneur by the Santa Maria Sun in 2012, Current member of Breakfast Rotary and past president of Rotary plus numerous other organizations.
Quote from Martin:
“Catering has been a great experience while raising our children and had provided us with the opportunity to meet many interesting people and see some beautiful places. With, 3 grown kids and 3 grandkids, when we're not on the road catering we are enjoying our family and traveling.”
Debi was born in Chicago to Dr. Dave and Sandy Carty. One of six children, they lived and travelled to many states while their father was a flight surgeon in the US Air Force. They settled in the Santa Maria Valley where her father opened his medical practice. Debi attended Allan Hancock College and Cal State Bakersfield, receiving her bachelor's degree in nursing. After more than 20 years as a critical care nurse and later as her father's ob/gyn nurse, she joined Martin in the restaurant, deli and catering. They owned Dino's Deli, Fine Wine & Spirits and Testa's Bistro, where their business quadrupled. They hosted many winemaker dinners and enjoyed the talents of many local musicians, while serving up an impressive and exciting menu. They've enjoyed and learned from the many experienced chefs that have been involved with their business. Their customers have become their friends. They sold Dino's a few years as catering was becoming increasingly busier.
Martin and Debi have three children, Eric, Michael and Michele, who attended Cal Poly, SLO, graduating with degrees in computer engineering, business and viticulture. They enjoy helping out catering when their schedules permit. All married with infants, Kennedy, Jackson and Reagan!
Debi sits on the Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce Board, Saint Joseph High School Community Board. She is involved in charitable organizations such as the YMCA and Knights, Wines & Roses. They enjoy catering many of the fine, local nonprofit organizations here in Santa Maria and the Central Coast. They cater the annual dinners for the Boy's & Girl's Club, YMCA, Special Olympics, and St. Joe's.
When not catering, Debi enjoys hiking, camping, boating, performing arts, fine wine and fine food.
ADMINISTRATION / DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Jeannie has been with the Testa Company Enterprises since the year 2000. She has been involved in all aspects of the company ranging from development, operations and administration with a passion for a standard of excellence that provides the ultimate client satisfaction.
As the Administration Executive she handles all the logistics of managing the Head Office. She is also the Operations Manager ensuring organizational effectiveness by providing leadership for the organization's financial functions. Jeannie works with the management teams to develop organizational strategies, policies and practices for operational excellence.
Quote from Jeannie:
“It is an honor to work for Martin & Debi Testa and with such a fantastic, talented catering team. I am proud to be a part of such a reputable and integral company who goes over, above and beyond our client’s expectations.”
Business Office: 805-739-0809
Katheryn "Kat" Pirkey
CLIENT RELATIONS DEPT
Drawn to the energy of hospitality, food and beverage, Katheryn started her career as a hotel Banquet Server in 1982. She quickly worked her way through the hospitality ranks to Director of Catering and Director of Sales & Marketing. During her hotel career Katheryn held several Corporate and Regional positions and proudly won many sales achievement awards.
With over 25 years in hospitality sales, Katheryn accepted a lead Corporate Meeting Planning position for a renowned dental product company planning conferences, tradeshows and meetings world-wide.
Katheryn brings with her extensive experience in sales, event planning, and organization skills making her the ideal team member to head up our Client Relations Department.
In her free time Katheryn enjoys music, cooking, baking, gardening, desktop publishing and spending time with family and friends.
Quote from Katheryn:
“Each day I bring to work the true passion for what I do, enthusiasm I hope will be infectious and my personal goal of exceeding each client’s expectations.”