THE AUGUST 2015 BULLS EYE FEATURE: Henry Gosik
Sensational Host Caterers, Inc. is a family owned and operated food service company, which started as a retail outlet in Delran in 1979 and has transformed dramatically through the years to adapt to the changing demands of its clientele.
The person responsible for that transformation is the company’s President and CEO, Henry Gosik. It started when Gosik agreed to provide food from his family’s Delran deli for a retirement party in Pine Hill.
In the early 1980s and into the 1990s, the company's focus was primarily on and off-premises catering in the tristate area. During that time the company experienced significant success and then, in 1992, the company was presented an opportunity to procure an on premises location in Maple Shade, which would complement the off-premise business.
“From the Mainline to the Shoreline the reason for our continued success is simple, we are committed above all else, to the quality of our food and the happiness of our customers,” says Gosik.
Sensational Host's corporate division coordinates events primarily held in office buildings for small to mid-size meetings, seminars, and open houses.
The firm’s on-premises division is located on Route 73 North in Maple Shade and accommodates a wide variety of weddings, banquets, and corporate meetings throughout the year.
The off premises division is able to accommodate events held at banquet facilities, private residences and business locations throughout the South Jersey, Delaware and Philadelphia area.
The 55-year old Gosik is the son of Beatrice, 82, and Richard Gosik, 85, who are the founders of the company and have been married for 62 years.
Growing up, Gosik had dreams of being a professional football player, but neither that ambition nor summer jobs as a landscaper, women’s shoe salesperson, and carpet warehouse employee seemed to put him on the path to becoming an East Coast catering giant, with a staff of 80.
Gosik and his wife, Karen, have three children—son Keagan, 29; son Cory, 26; and daughter Emily, 23. They met 32 years ago through mutual friends at the Penalty Box in Pennsauken. “Our first date was a movie and we saw Caddy Shack,” Gosik recalls. Asked to identify his best decision ever, he says it was “marrying Karen.”
He considers himself “a very blessed man. Living a beautiful life with my wonderful wife and children and grandchild and another one on the way. My heart is full.”
When asked to reveal “what his spouse is always telling him,” he says “we are lucky to have met and we were meant to be together.”
Gosik says his first “real job” was at the Bridgeboro Deli, which was the “family business.”
Asked what he knows now that he wishes he’d known then, Gosik replies that the answers would be “too long to list.”
The best part of his job, he says, is “watching employees develop and reach their full potential…and turning my clients visions into events!”
The worst part is “not enough time in my day.”
His goal yet to be achieved is a new updated building and he says his greatest fear is “not being able to obtain my business goals.”
His biggest “aha” moment came as a result of a pulmonary embolism a few years ago. “It opened my eyes to the fragility of life and to make the most of every moment.”
The organization he most respects is Google, but his first choice for a new career would be as “a Weather Man—the only job in which you can not be right and still have a job.”
The best advice he has ever heard, Gosik says, is “ignore chattering crowds and set your own course.” Which fits with his personal motto, which is “Don’t Quit.”
Elaborating, he quotes this verse:
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt –
And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems afar:
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit – It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.
Gosik says he measures success “one successful event at a time. You are only as good as your last one.”
Gosik’s firm has been a finalist for the East Coast Region Ace Award—a national recognition of companies that have shown noteworthy achievement in the catering industry through culinary, business, community and professional development.
The firm has also been honored with the Burlington County Chamber of Commerce 2013 Business Excellence Award; the award for Best Food Display at The Taste of Burlington County, Savor the Flavor Event 2013, just to name a few.
Gosik serves on the board of the Burlington County College Foundation as well as on the board of the South Jersey Chamber and the Burlington County Workforce Investment Board.
His best experience as a volunteer has been working with high school students through the Rotary to develop their leadership skills. “It’s a joy to watch them grow.”
If he could travel back in time, Gosik would go to “the US Revolution. Why? Always up for a good fight and cause.”
If his flight is delayed and he’s stuck on the tarmac for a long time, Gosik would most want to be sitting next to Abraham Lincoln.
Same scenario—he would least want to be sitting next to Will Farrell.
When Gosik first meets people the first thing he notices is “a great handshake and a warm smile.”
His choice for the best SJ athlete ever is Franco Harris. And, if he could do one thing to change South Jersey, it would be to lower property taxes.
Finally, his epitaph as he would like it to be written would be “Henry Gosik served his community, clients and family well.”