Who We Are

The Faces Behind the Scenes

Led by two passionate professionals and supported by a cast of talented hospitality “lifers”, the SBC team stands ready to tackle any business challenge you are facing. With over 6 decades of experience in all facets of the hospitality and events industry, no project is too small or large for us to tackle.

Howard Foer

Howard Foer, Owner of Small Batch Concepts

Before founding Small Batch Concepts, Howard forged an extensive entrepreneurial path within the hospitality industry. Starting as a young chef in esteemed Washington, DC restaurants, he aspired to establish a company dedicated to crafting uniquely exceptional events. This drive led him to create Festive Foods Catering, which swiftly rose to become one of the premier Catering and Special Events Companies in the Nation’s Capital.

After decades of success leading the team at Festive Foods, Howard sought a new challenge. He found that challenge when he and his wife Lauren acquired a picturesque historic property in Casanova, Virginia. With focused determination, Howard navigated rezoning, financing, and the comprehensive development and design of his envisioned boutique hotel. Thus, in early 2002, “Poplar Springs ~ The Inn Spa” was established, earning acclaim for its impressive estate property and the renowned Manor House Restaurant.

Eager to continue sharing his wealth of knowledge with others in the hospitality, industry, he founded Small Batch Concepts with the aim of supporting hospitality ventures, refining systems, creating exceptional menus, and aiding in processes to enhance those ventures focused on event planning and management. Recognized as a passionate Hospitality and Culinary Visionary, Howard is dedicated to helping others achieve their business goals and elevate their events.

Lauren Foer

Lauren was bitten by the hospitality bug while working at a high-end catering company during her undergrad years at Georgetown University.  Following graduation, smitten with the events and catering world, Lauren founded Festive Foods, a renowned catering and events company in Washington, DC. During her decades long career, she spearheaded corporate and social client services, business development, and financial and HR administration. She actively managed significant events at key DC venues, including The Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and various national landmarks. Lauren’s meticulous attention to detail and dedication to perfection were particularly praised by wedding couples she personally managed, ensuring flawlessly executed events.

As Lauren expanded her team to over a hundred employees, Festive Foods operated seamlessly. Lauren then shifted her focus to a new endeavor—a boutique hotel, spa, event venue, and restaurant in the Virginia countryside. At Poplar Springs, she led special projects, emphasizing destination events, corporate retreats, and team-building programs. Additionally, Lauren spearheaded environmental initiatives that earned Poplar Springs its ‘Virginia Green’ certification well ahead of the sustainability and corporate social responsibility trend in the hospitality industry.

When the need arose for Lauren to provide more care for her aging parents, she gracefully transitioned away from her dual full-time roles. To balance the demands of caregiving, she re-entered the hospitality realm, by founding the boutique consulting firm, Small Batch Concepts. With a robust career as a highly successful events and hospitality entrepreneur, Lauren’s passion for aiding others positions her ideally to assist clients in orchestrating exceptional events and to support hospitality operators seeking seasoned guidance. Colleagues, friends, and clients commend Lauren for her exceptional organizational skills, creativity, intelligence and resourcefulness, unwavering positivity, and her grace under pressure.