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Ex-Shasta student among those talking about careers
Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford provides the keynote talk for Shasta School students during Friday’s career day. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Andrew Griggs once sat in the very desks of his captive young audience Friday at Shasta School’s Career Day.

He’s the owner and operator of the Manteca catering service, Family Meal, and was one of a dozen guest speakers at the annual event.

A 2005 graduate of Sierra High, Griggs attended Shasta from second- through eighth- grade.

“Andrew was once a Hornet,” said teacher Jacqueline Kron, who, for the second straight year, helped in organizing Career Day.

Griggs can thank Manteca Unified for helping him establish a career. Back when senior projects were mandatory for graduation, he initiated the “restaurant to you” catering solution. By that, Griggs was able to offer clients a menu in which to pick and choose from a variety of gourmet items.

In turn, he was able to bring the dining experience into their home, with the service accommodating events of one to 100 guests.

His motto: “Eat better, cook more and indulge.”

Griggs showcased several mouth-watering items from his seasonal menu on his power point presentation, including a pumpkin ravioli made with butternut squash, shrimp, bacon, Marsala, tomatoes and sage.

“I use only local ingredients,” he said.

Griggs had an idea what he wanted to do after graduation, pursuing a degree in the culinary arts while attending college on the East Coast. Along the way, he earned a business degree.

“Get an education,” he said, offering the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and Delta College as options.

For those interested in the food industry, Griggs recommended the Regional Occupational Program classes offered to high school students as part of the MUSD career path curriculum.

“The ROP classes are more in-depth in the basics,” he said.

Eighth-grade student Mari Talavera, for one, showed a possible interest in the field.

“I like to cook,” she said. “I like making something that makes people happy.”

Her favorite dish to make is spaghetti.

Meanwhile, Griggs has a passion for his work.

 “It’s the convenience,” he said. “I like to make food and I like making money – it goes hand in hand.”

Griggs also has passion of encouraging youngsters to look at the career opportunities in the food industry.

His future plans include becoming a restaurant entrepreneur.