Midland native’s thriving business is result of skills learned from grandmotherJune 13, 2024

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Kim Herard

When Kim Herard was 12 years old, she cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner all by herself.  That’s when she knew she wanted to make cooking a career.  

“I learned at the feet of my grandmother Gloria,” Herard said.  “She was an exceptional cook and an even better baker.  Being from Louisiana, she taught me Southern-style and Cajun cooking.  To this day, if you can put bacon grease in it, I’ll cook it, and most things I prepare have a little Cajun influence in them.”

Herard and her husband Wes are the owners of Indulgence Catering Co, which includes full-service catering and an event venue called the Hall at Briarwood.  They just recently expanded the Hall at Briarwood to also include an outside area that is open to the public on Friday evenings for family-centered dining and on Sundays for brunch.

“I didn’t immediately start my career with catering and event venue services,” Herard explained.  “Even though I knew from the time I was 12 that I wanted to work in the food industry, it wasn’t immediately apparent as to exactly what that would look like.”

Herard was born and raised in Midland.  In 2004, she graduated from Lee High School (now Legacy High School) where she was a varsity cheerleader for three years.  She then attended Midland College (MC) and was a member of the cheer team from 2004-2006.  She said that one of her most memorable MC moments was cheering at the 2005 NJCAA men’s basketball tournament in Hutchinson, KS.

“I loved going to Midland College,” Herard said.  “It was just what I needed to finish ‘growing up.’”

After leaving MC, Herard attended Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Austin, TX.  

“Culinary arts school gave me an opportunity to refine my skills that up until that time had just been learned from my grandmother and my own trial and error methods,” she explained.  “When I originally started at Le Cordon Bleu, I wanted to concentrate on patisserie and baking; however, I soon discovered that the precise measurement skill required for that specialty was not my thing.  I loved all my classes and excelled in most, except ice sculpting because I couldn’t use a chain saw.  Believe it or not, the hardest class was eggs!”

While Herard was attending Le Cordon Bleu, her father became seriously ill with lung cancer.  She put her career plans on hold and came back to Midland to help take care of him.  A few months later, she met Wes at Buffalo Wild Wings in Midland, and they purchased their very first food truck and brought it all the way from Denver, CO.

That food truck called Midnight Munchies was the beginning of Indulgence, LLC, and it spent the next 10 years outside of the most popular bars and clubs in Midland, mainly Rockin’ Rodeo between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00 am.   

In 2008, after her father was on the road to recovery, Herard finished her studies at Le Cordon Bleu and graduated with an associate degree in Culinary Arts.  Indulgence, LLC and Midnight Munchies food truck were already on their way to making Kim and Wes successful entrepreneurs.  When the oil business took off in 2009, so did the growing business.

“In those days, we did a lot of oilfield caterings,” Herard said.  “Our one food truck expanded to three food trucks, and we purchased an 800-square-foot building from Lyn and Debra Sockwell who owned the Gourmet Peddler.  We soon outgrew that place.  

“In 2017, after Graham’s Pharmacy closed their location on Briarwood, we rented the building.  It had everything that we needed—a large space with a commercial kitchen—but I was terrified.  It was a big investment for a 30-year-old!”

Herard said that the first thing she did after acquiring the space was hire a pastry chef.  Soon, the staff grew to six employees, and they recently hired an additional six more event and bar staff when the outdoor area opened a couple of months ago on April 19.

The only thing that was not successful for Kim and Wes after expanding their business to a bricks and mortar location was Gloria’s Diner.

“I wanted to open a restaurant in our facility,” Herard said.  “I got everything, ready, designed the menu and named the restaurant after my grandmother.  On March 8, 2020, Gloria’s Diner opened; then one week later, the world shut down because of the COVID pandemic.  Gloria’s Diner suffered the effects of COVID, and we closed the restaurant; however, I’m very proud of the fact that Indulgence remained in business, and I was able to retain all of my staff.”

In 2023, Kim and Wes sold the food trucks in order to give their full attentions to operations at their Briarwood location.  Kim gets the kitchen started every morning and spends the afternoons working on finances and administrative details.  Wes handles maintenance and is the grill master.  A typical week includes 30-35 caterings feeding 150-200 people each day.  They also cater at Bush Convention Center with December being their busiest month catering corporate Christmas parties.  In addition, they cater for the Green Room at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center.  Their food has been enjoyed by the likes of Greg Abbott, Josh Allen, Ted Cruz, Miranda Lambert, Mike Pence and Dwight Yoakum, just to name a few.

Kim and Wes have a 9-year-old son Conor and two 19-year-old cats Lump and Fluffy.  In her spare time, Kim enjoys gardening, and whenever possible, she tries to use her home-grown vegetables in the food she prepares at Indulgence.  Vacations usually include trips to Oklahoma to visit Wes’ 95-year-old grandmother and beach trips to Port Aransas.

“One of our favorite destinations is Las Vegas,” Kim said.  “When I’m there, I love to sample the cuisine. I guess I’m just a foodie at heart.  All I’ve ever known is cooking, and I still love it.”

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