By Cara Beth Lewis
What started as cooking for friends turned into a full-time catering business for this family operation. 5 Guys and a Girl is owned and operated by siblings Austin Stone and Crystal Leigh Buffkin, and their spouses, Erin Stone and Eric Buffkin. The business is named for their children.
“We offer lunch specials and family dinner specials throughout the week, we cater in-home gatherings, Christmas parties, rehearsal dinners, receptions, school functions, you name it. We also offer an assortment of sweets each week. Homemade, and all of this can be delivered to your door,” Crystal shared.
In addition to the catering business, the owners are active in other areas of their community too. “Austin works full time with Centurylink and sings as one of the members on the praise and worship team at our church, New Light Church in Bladenboro… Austin is a great leader of his household and sets a great Christ-like example for his three boys. He didn’t spend his lifetime dreaming of catering and cooking for people… but God had other plans,” his sister, Crystal, shared. Like Austin, Eric did not grow up thinking about catering, either, his wife shared. She added, “Eric spends his days working for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, with Ethan at Chadbourn Feed Store, or by the grill cooking.”
Erin and Crystal operate 5 Guys and a Girl full time. Before going full-time with the catering business, Erin was a nurse for ten years. Crystal stated, “You know you may have plans for yourself (which I’ve had a ton of them), but God always has something else in mind.” Crystal graduated from college with a Biology degree and became a teacher.
All businesses have obstacles to overcome. 5 Guys and a Girl, like all businesses, has had to face some obstacles. Crystal, one of the owners, was diagnosed with “Stiff Person Syndrome” in 2021. She shared, “One of the most selfless acts I’ve experienced in life was when Erin quit her nursing job to come home and care for me and our business. So, God had been preparing her, she just didn’t know it.” In the time after her diagnosis, her students, friends, family, and community showed their love and support in many ways, according to Crystal.
5 Guys and a Girl wants to contribute to their community, as well. The owners shared, We are able to provide home cooked meals, hot and delivered right to the door. This option is perfect for working families, or families with children involved in every activity under the sun. Moms don’t have to worry about ‘what’s for supper.’ We provide “reheat meals” as well. These are meals that can be put in the freezer and used at any time.”
They continued, “We also are considerate of costs when it comes to our family meals. With our large family, feeding them can be quite costly, so we try to be as reasonable and affordable as possible. The things that you find that might be expensive with us are our homemade dips and dressings, our sweets, and our meats. These are things we take a lot of pride in, as they are things you won’t find anywhere else.”
5 Guys and a Girl offers more than food, according to the owners. “We are also a one-stop-shop when it comes to events. We can help you plan your event from finding your venue, decorating, providing all meal services, DJ services, full band services, full bartending services, flowers, and more.”
The owners believe that they have met and exceeded goals with their business. Crystal explained, “Honestly, we have been so blessed that I think we have by far exceeded any goals that we made in the past or may make in the future. Because catering isn’t a promised business, we work through faith.”
“It has been a true honor and pleasure to have the support of our little community. We have grown more over the last year because of Bladen County. Your love and kindness have been much appreciated and we look forward to our continued growth and what the future holds. Thank You!” – Austin and Erin Stone, and Eric and Crystal Leigh Buffkin, owners.