Photo: Beau Monde Originals

Woman-Owned

Birchtree Catering is a small, woman-owned company started by Allegra Derengowski and Rasa Stirbys Benefico, two friends that met as waitresses and began their company in 2008. We focus on local sourcing, seasonal menus, and scratch cooking in our kitchen in Philadelphia, PA. Our waste is composted and recycled in our kitchen and at events, and we choose sustainable options whenever feasible.

Love Your Food

When Birchtree began catering in 2008, we were inspired by the bounty that local farms and markets had to offer. We value the close relationships we’ve built with our local farmers, artisans, and vendors – and our clients can taste the difference! We are proud of our scratch kitchen, where much of our food — from ricotta and jams to bread and pasta — is made in house. Our dishes are made with care and from whole ingredients, guaranteeing fresh and unique seasonal flavors.

Local Sourcing

All dairy, cheeses, eggs and meats are locally sourced. Fruits, vegetables and herbs are sourced locally whenever possible, and all other produce is low or no-spray from small farms in the U.S. Our seafood has been carefully selected for sustainability and quality.

Low Waste

As part of our commitment to environmental responsibility, Birchtree has partnered with a commercial composter. Recycling and composting at events allows us to adhere to our one trash bag policy.

From the Ground Up

We built our brand slowly by using rental kitchens, hosting tastings in our homes, and growing relationships with vendors and farmers. Today our commissary kitchen is located inside Globe Dye Works in Frankford, Philadelphia, and we remain a small business with a dedicated staff, limited events per weekend, and a strong commitment to every client. Our team was honored to win 2015’s “Best of Philly” for Party Food, we are listed in Philadelphia’s Good Food Caterers Guide, and our food quality standards have been recognized by Grid Magazine, the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia, The Chamber of Commerce, The Knot Magazine and Philadelphia Wedding Magazine

Where we source:

  • Green Meadow Farm
  • Germantown Kitchen Garden
  • Valley Shepherd Creamery
  • Weaver’s Orchard
  • The Gehman Family Farm
  • Sunny Harvest Farms
  • Mother Earth Organics
  • Pequea Valley Farms
  • Sandy Ridge Farms
  • Samuels and Sons Seafood
  • Common Market
  • FarmArt
  • The wonderful vendors inside Reading Terminal Market
Our Team
Rasa Stirbys Benefico Owner, Chef
Rasa approaches her professional menu writing and cooking with the same energy and care that she put into catering her own wedding. She has become a leader in the local food movement and wedding menu trends, with regular contributions to Martha Stewart Weddings, Green Wedding Shoes, and 100 Layer Cake. Rasa lives in Northeast Philadelphia with her husband.
Allegra Derengowski Owner, CEO
A self-taught planner and entrepreneur, Allegra focuses on sales, marketing and development for Birchtree. She serves as a board member for the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia and belongs to the Frankford Business and Professional Association. In 2016 she participated in two programs: Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, and The Enterprise Center's Scale-Up, where she now serves as an advisory board member. The company's growth has positioned them as industry leaders in Philadelphia, with a reputation for the highest quality food and service at weddings and events.
Agi Czapka Production Manager
Agi developed a passion for locally grown and seasonally sourced foods while living in the farm rich Willamette Valley of Oregon. Returning to her Philly roots, she combined that passion and a love of hospitality into a well rounded experience managing some of the most well known restaurants in
Philadelphia including Fork, Rae and Paradiso. She now hosts Birchtree's events at our exclusive venue Awbury Arboretum.
Kellieann Collins Sullivan Office Manager
With 15+ years of teaching experience in and around Philadelphia, Kellieann brought her organizational skills to Birchtree. She has fond memories of cooking with her grandmom and making homemade chocolates with her mother. She was drawn to Birchtree because of our local sourcing and sustainable practices - recycle, reduce, reuse!!
Andreas Harvey Human Resources Director
Andreas has worked as a server and manager in some of the best and busiest restaurants in Philadelphia, including Susanna Foo, Le Bec-Fin and Davio's. With his extensive experience in fine dining, he is in charge of training and educating Birchtree's waitstaff to ensure the highest level of service at our events.
Ryan Horowitz Head Chef
Chef Ryan has been with Birchtree since 2011, working his way up through multiple disciplines within the business. His breads and pastas have been recognized by Philly foodies and press, and his leadership in the kitchen has contributed to the company's overall success.
Nicole Hutnyk Events Director
Nicole's experience in brand development and event planning has led to a perfect collaboration with Birchtree Catering. With an MBA in International Business from Philadelphia University, and through her passion for event planning (she owns the planning company Rabbit Rabbit Crew!), she brings detailed execution to each event, making sure that each couple's vision comes to life.
Nam Lee Sales Manager
Nam comes to Birchtree with over 13 years of sales, marketing, and event experience supporting the hospitality industry. She has sold and managed globally recognized spirits portfolios as well as building the Philadelphia brand Art in the Age. She has a great devotion for wellness, all things food and wine, and supporting the local food system. Nam's greatest joy comes from sharing her passion for food, creating community, and feeding those she loves.
Recent Press
Excellence Award Winner

This fall we were honored to win the Chamber of Commerce ImpactPHL Award. This goes to a business that is focused on people, planet and profit. Read owner Allegra Derengowski’s take on what makes Birchtree such a special company.

PIDC Feature

The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) is a non-profit organization founded by the City of Philadelphia and the Chamber of Commerce in 1958 to support small business and development within the city. Birchtree was lucky enough to be part of their loan program in 2016. Read about our growth journey on their blog. 

A Guide to Wedding Catering

In this Interview with owner Allegra Derengowski on weddingventure.com, she shares her passion for wedding catering and has a few tips for picking the right vendors and service styles for the reception.

Private Farm Wedding in New Hope, PA

“Early this summer, we had the honor of being welcomed onto Caitlin’s family farm – a location her and Jason knew intimately – to document them saying nice things to one another and kick off their marriage celebrating alongside close family and friends. It was the perfect summer day and between playing with their dog, to mingling with guests during cocktail hour, we would happily be apart of this type of wedding every day if we could. A modern backyard farm wedding could not be more enjoyable or fun.” -Pat Furey

Favorite Vendors

We love recommending other local small businesses for all of your event needs like desserts, photography, music, design, planning, and vintage and specialty rentals. We list some of our favorites here that deliver exceptional quality, and during your planning process we can curate a list that fits your vision.