and when it is done well, it can have a beautiful ripple effect. When this time around the table is missing, communities are left with a void, and families can feel isolated and without connection. It is our deepest desire to see celebration brought back to the table, and the fruits of that in our communities.
At Gather, we have a passion for
is a critical human need
Kayty’s journey to Gather started through seasons of her own loneliness. College sweethearts Kayty and Colby Helgerson moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand to volunteer in the area of human trafficking and child exploitation using their backgrounds in social work and criminal justice. While there, Kayty experienced a hunger for connection and a deep sense of loneliness. Through this experience she realized she had an invitation to sit back and accept it or do something about it. This led her into a season of facing healing and courage. She found herself navigating healing from past relational wounds that would in turn help her learn how to accept an invitation, along with tackling hospitality insecurity to learn how to be confident extending an invitation. Kayty quickly saw the unique ability the table had to spark meaningful connection, and with it how disconnected our culture is from this space.
On a mission to learn why culture has strayed from the table, she started a small life skill training catering program in Chiang Mai that acted as a smooth transition from a life of abuse to successfully re-entering society for victims of exploitation. The custom cakes and catering made, served the international community in what became an impactful model for those in the program and customers alike.
having faced our own barriers with opening doors and filling tables. Some of us have struggled with not knowing what to serve, others with not being confident in our hosting spaces, and still others simply don’t know what to do to cultivate quality interactions. This combined with dietary restrictions of guests can make honoring and valuing each individual difficult. There’s beauty in bringing people together, but naturally there are conflicting mindsets that can often lead to difficult conversation. If not handled well, these divisive conversations can ultimately detract from the Joie de vivre that typifies gathering.
We know what it's like
to be lonely
and without community
time around the table
is a critical human need
A few years into the program varying factors required that Kayty and Colby move back to the states, where they opened up Gather Wholesome Gourmet. Specializing in special diet gourmet catering the model was successful but Kayty learned quickly that she wanted to get out of the kitchen and teach all that she had learned. This resulted in the shift to Gather: Intentional Living & Everyday Hospitality
Starting as a small New England business Kayty taught charcuterie styling workshops at vineyards and breweries. When the pandemic hit Gather decided to adapt and teach virtually and through it experienced tremendous growth. Through this shift, she welcomed guests from all fifty states and six countries through their hundreds of workshops on charcuterie, cake decorating, and hospitality education. Kayty learned through these thousands of interactions that the everyday host, like herself, is looking for buildable skills which led her to expand her brand. Gather currently focuses on education, resources and products that equip and inspire the everyday host for hospitality holistically through food, design and relationships. All with the goal of meaningful connection in mind.
She has since expanded to offer a podcast called Making Room by Gather, which aspires to talk about various dynamics that come up around the table, and cover the topic holistically. She has had the honor of welcoming experts in the areas of food, design and relationships. Guests have included Jacques Pepin, Half Baked Harvest, Liz Marie Galvan, Daphne Oz, Andrew Zimmern & a continued reputable guest list this season.
Kayty’s Husband plays a critical role behind the scenes, helping her with logistics, shipping, strategy, planning and making sure she doesn’t quit! Kayty and her husband Colby currently call CT home with their goldendoodle Lucca (named after their favorite city they stumbled upon on their honeymoon to italy). Kayty can be found hunting down cute coffee shops, loves flowers and comes alive in cities! Colby and Kayty are always looking for ways to continue to stay connected to, and support, their home in Thailand,too. Their goal is to use Gather’s model to continue their original life skill training vision in Chiang Mai.
Through everything Gather does, the goal is to change the narrative on how we approach hospitality culture. With a shift from perfection to intention, take a seat, there's one waiting for you!
kayty and colby