Debbi Hoover is following through with the dreams she’s had since college.
Hoover, a lifelong resident of East Bend and a graduate of Forbush High, attended Appalachian State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in foods. She also took food nutrition classes from Florida State University.
She knew ever since an early age she wanted to be involved in cooking, and when she returned home from college she opened her own catering company.
D&F Catering operates out of East Bend. Hoover owns the land her childhood home is built on, land that can be traced back in her family to 1860.
Hoover has owned the business since its creation 35 years ago. She keeps 150 fully-catered events booked at all times - ranging from weddings to events for local vineyards, from church functions to retirement parties and corporate events.
She is the “owner, proprietor and dish washer” of D&F, and she’s the only full-time employee.
“I have always worked in the field that I graduated in,” Hoover said. “As have both of my children.”
Hoover has two children: a son who is an aerospace engineer and a daughter who is a teacher.
The business stemmed from her desire to stay home and raise her children. The catering company allowed her to make money and do what she loves - while caring for those she loves.
“As they grew my business grew,” she said.
She attends Union Grove Baptist Church.
Hoover has a variety of farm animals at her home. She raises goats and chickens, and is learning how to make her own cheese.
She is also a master gardener and tends her own garden.
In her free time Hoover runs triathlons. Following her divorce she set out to reinvent herself and get into shape by training for the events.
She recently completed her third, something she said she would not have been able to do four years ago.
“I literally lost a husband, lost 100 pounds and did a triathlon - who won this battle?” she joked.
She prepares for the events by biking, yoga and visiting the YMCA in Yadkinville to swim. Hoover makes time for it when she can around her schedule.
“I keep my bag in my car and if I am anywhere within a 10-minute radius I’ll run in and do something for 30 minutes,” she said.
She is now prepping for the Appalachian Trail. She has not decided whether she’ll do the entire trail or just a portion of it, but hopes to walk it at some point.
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