Catherine Owens: Chalkboard Menus and Art

At Journeyman, we hire for some alchemy of personality and skill: people with a million passions and skill sets, the dilettantes of the world, usually thrive here. That means we have gathered a set of incredibly multi-talented staff. From semi-professional musicians and carpenters who also cook, to folks with graduate degrees like Masters of Public Administration or Doctorate of Pharmacology, to exceptional metalworkers and filmmakers. Our gardener and server, Andrea, is embarking on an ice cream sandwich company. Another server, Joshua, has recently completed building and installing custom shelving and desks for a new store & has created a shared studio, performance and gallery space here in Union Square. Catherine, another server with an impressive background, has begun creating beautiful and inspiring art on our walls, as well.

Catherine came to us from Tufts where she’d received a graduate education in Sustainable Agriculture. Her primary gig is in that field, and she currently consults with small food producers around New England as the Director of Marketing and Outreach for a great start-up called Forage ( ), which connects producers and consumers of local food. She is knowledgeable and passionate about local food and health, and the partnership between her work at Forage and our work here was clear when we hired her. More recently, though, we’ve found new talents in her: along with making the aprons our bartenders wear nightly, Catherine volunteered to write our menus on the walls of backbar. Knowing she had nice handwriting, we handed her a chalk marker and set her loose.

Already artistic, Catherine began an extensive project to research lettering, fonts, various schools of design, and has tackled decorating the walls of both Journeyman and backbar with the fruits of her labor. Our menus, which change frequently, are now the highlight of the space. While we had imagined the chalkboards to be utilitarian, she has made them the centerpiece of the space with her temporary art. Her chalkboard art is also on display around town at places like RJ Gourmet and she accepts commissions in both chalk and ink.

Below, you can watch some time lapse videos of her process. If you’d like to hire Catherine for chalkboard art or other lettering projects, drop a comment here & she will follow up with you.

Chalkboard Art at backbar by Catherine Owens

Chalkboard Art at Journeyman & backbar by Catherine Owens

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