Debra Michiels opened Fox Banquets Rivertyme Catering 26 years ago in the former Appleton Elk's club overlooking the Fox River. Her business is still going strong, serving as a banquet facility and catering service for groups of 25 and up.
"Our building has a capacity of 450, but we have catered to groups as large as 3,500 at other locations," said Michiels. She attributes her catering success to the quality food and service provided by her staff and head chef, Bruce Petrie.
About 33% of Fox Banquets' business is off premise, according to Michiels. Yet, their facility is often booked several times per week. It is a favorite among many Fox Valley residents because of its centralized location and grand views of the Fox River.
Michiels is located at 111 East Kimball Street in Appleton, just up the hill from the Fox River Mill apartments and tucked behind the YMCA lot. The property serves as an important link between the riverfront flats area and Downtown Appleton because of its staircase at the edge of the parking lot. "A lot of people use the staircase to come up to the Farmer's Market or other Downtown events," said Michiels.