Don Strange of Texas, Inc.
58 years in the making
1952Edith and Joe Strange purchase a small grocery store on Bandera Road. This was the last store between San Antonio and Bandera, Texas; it was also one of only a few stores open after dark.
1956A local hotel chef purchases “The Broiler”, a restaurant on Bandera Road. The restaurant has one of the first microwave ovens that is huge by today’s standards. When the chef died suddenly of a heart attack, Edith and Joe purchase the restaurant. The first event at this venue was held the same year for a fee of $15.00.
1957Edith and Joe add on to “The Broiler” and rename it “The Party House, Inc”.
1957-1972“The Party House” is the most popular venue in town for many fraternal, civic and social clubs since the only alternative for parties was hotels.
Edith and Joe lease the grocery store and concentrate on “The Party House”.
Frances and Don Strange welcome Brian, their first son, into the world.
The World’s Fair - HemisFair San Antonio. Visitors from around the world are introduced to San Antonio, Texas. Construction begins on the UT Health Science Center. Don Strange, then 28, meets several prominent doctors and earns their business. He learns new recipes and how to pair food with wines. Matt Strange is born.
1971Jason Strange is born.
1972Joe Strange passes away.
1972The oil boom in Texas begins. Texas oil barons enjoy huge profits and entertain often. Don Strange is the caterer of choice.
1975-1980Don Strange has non-stop business statewide.
Don and Frances Strange entertained James Beard in their home and shortly afterwards, Mr. Beard wrote one of his nationally syndicated newspaper columns about Don Strange! Titled “Party a la Mexico,” it appeared in newspaper food sections nationwide on May 19, 1976.
1980Don Strange hosts his first event out-of-state for American Express’ international retailer. They served authentic Texas barbecue to 150 retailers on a farm just outside Washington, D.C. in Leesburg, Virginia.
1982Don Strange purchases 125 acres in the Texas Hill Country town of Welfare – now known as the Don Strange Ranch.
Texans feeling the crunch as oil wells dry out. Catering opportunities diminish.
1985Di-Anna Arias begins career at Don Strange of Texas, Inc.
Don Strange still operating under the name “The Party House, Inc.” changes the name of the company to Don Strange of Texas, Inc. because of a statewide push to support Texas businesses.
Name of catering company established as: Don Strange of Texas, Inc. (DST)
Don Strange hosts parties at the White House for 2 days in honor of President George H. W. Bush.
Di-Anna Arias named Director of Sales and Marketing for DST.
1987Don Strange of Texas, Inc. relocates it main office, commissary and warehouses to the backside of the property. They sell off the Bandera frontage.
1997Jason Strange establishes The Don Strange Adventure Challenge Course which is built on Kendall Creek, a division of the Don Strange Ranch. The course boasts the highest climbing structure in the nation and is one of only a few in the country that is handicap accessible. Jason Strange manages the course and markets it throughout the state.
Don Strange of Texas, Inc. signs an agreement with the Buckhorn Saloon & Museums to be the exclusive caterer in the museum’s 6,500 square foot banquet facility.
1999The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum Opens in downtown San Antonio.
2000Don Strange of Texas Inc. wins the Best Venue Award at the first annual Hospy's, presented by the hospitality industry of San Antonio.
2001Winner of the Hopsy Award for Best Catering Cuisine and Best Venue - The Don Strange Ranch
2002Official Caterer of the Women's Final Four
USAA Company Picnic for 10,000 guests
2003Launches Helping Hands Program to benefit Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives
Catered the 150th anniversary of the King Ranch
2006Caters National Lutheran Youth Conference in LaVillita, San Antonio for 19,000 and 35,000 guests
Brian Strange takes over as manager of kitchen, back of the house operations and entertainment operations of the company
2007Wins Mutual of America Community Partnership Award
Don Strange named Trendsetter by San Antonio Express News
DST wins Texas Treasure Award
Corporate Service Award from the Texas Network of Youth Services
Matt Strange, with the blessing of his family, begins his own business: Assure Health Care and remains as business consultant to Don Strange of Texas, Inc.
Featured on the Food Network’s show: The Secret Life of… Catering Featuring: Don Strange of Texas
Jason Strange launches The Zip Line at Zinc Hill
Don Strange of Texas named with the Hospy Hero Award from the San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association
Di-Anna Arias, named president of Les Dames d’Escoffier – San Antonio Chapter
2009Frances Strange launches www.donstrangemarket.com an e-commerce business that provides access to Don Strange of Texas, Inc. signature products around the world.
Don Strange of Texas, Inc. becomes culinary sponsor for RMYA Heart to Heart Campaign
Don Strange of Texas, Inc. is awarded the “Make a Difference Award” for community contributions
November 2009 – Don Strange, culinary legend passes awayDST names Brian Strange as Chief Executive Officer
Don Strange wins “Community Collaborator” from the 26th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards - OneStar Foundation: Texas Center for Social Impact awarded the 2009 Governor’s Volunteer Awards. For Community Collaborator Award, Individual/Group to Don Strange, Don Strange of Texas, Inc. For years, the late Don Strange and his catering company have been leveraging connections and partnerships to help them assist children in crisis.
Frances speaks to SA Woman’s Club
2010January Issue of Cowboys & Indians Magazine featured Don Strange of Texas.
January 29th – Alamo Kiwanis honors the Don Strange Family at their annual gala.
Spring 2010 - Don Strange of Texas Sauces are launched: Original BBQ Sauce, Pequin BBQ, Mild BBQ, Jalapeño Béarnaise, Hot Mustard, and Cranberry Pecan
May – Don Strange wins the 2010 Robert HH Hugman Award presented by the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau.
July - Don Strange Ranch opens to the public for the first time for the Texas Hill Country Picnic – over 300 attend.
August – Don Strange Market Place Adds Cookbook to It’s e-Commerce Menu
October – Launch of WeddingsbyDonStrange.com
October – Caterer of the The 50th Anniversary Gala of "The Alamo" World Premiere
November – To hit your local bookstore: Don Strange of Texas: His life and Recipes.
November – Live from the Artists Den: Ray LaMontagne shot at the Don Strange Ranch – to be aired on PBS in April 2011
November – Don Strange Cookbook featured in Taste section of San Antonio Express News
November – Don Strange of Texas Sauces hit the shelves of HEB
December – Frances Strange on KENS: Great Day SA
April - Live from the Artists Den: Ray LaMontagne to be aired on PBS – featuring the Don Strange Ranch
May - proud location and caterer of Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton's Wedding - featured in US Weekly and People Magazine
May - DS Cookbook wins Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal Award
June - Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton Wedding story in People: Country Special mentioning Don Strange Ranch and featuring Don Strange's Signature Prickly Pear Margarita