Joy Wallace Spreads The Love

Joy Wallace believes that food isn’t just for eating, it’s for loving. One of South Florida’s most sought after caterers with her A Joy Wallace Miami Catering and Design says every day is filled with love.

Named Joy by her father because she says he felt like “I was his bundle of joy, ” the business owner, who works more than 60 hours a week and makes it a point to attend most of the events her company is catering, feels she needs to live up to her name. “I believe that’s been a core of how I conduct myself. How can you be Joy and be grumpy? How can you be Joy and not bring joy to other people?”

Our pre-Valentine’s Day conversation centered on love in its many forms: love for what you do, love for the people who surround you, romantic love and love for yourself.

“My life is of being of service to others. I feel like it’s my responsibility in my business to serve love and give love.” She instills that in the people that work with her and for her at A Joy Wallace. “The love you give as a leader you’re going to get back. If someone is running around at an event not smiling, it’s not going to make guests secure. You always have to have a smile on your face. I say I’m a hummingbird on the inside, but a dove on the outside. People like to be around doves, not hummingbirds.”

She shares the love with her staff in five buildings at the company’s South Miami location, including one building that’s devoted to housing a 25,000 square foot commissary. She has 60 full time staff members that are individually hand selected by her. “Every Thanksgiving I invite all staff, their spouses and children. There are about 125 of us and we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for.”

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There’s a Lucille Ball quote that Wallace says is her mantra. “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line,” she quotes from the television comedian. “You really do have to love yourself to make a difference in the world.”

She quotes another quote: “Every accomplishment begins with a decision to try.” Wallace relates this to her business. “It’s not easy to be a caterer. It’s not easy to please people. You’re unloading a party out of a truck, you’re building a kitchen, you’re building a dining room.”

What she loves the most is that there’s never a dull moment. She’s the exclusive caterer for Vizcaya’s Museum and Gardens Café and Shop. And then there are the spring weddings. Lots of them. “It’s so romantic when the couples come in and we hear the stories of how they met, how the groom proposed. . . about how the engagement was at the top of a mountain in some exotic place with violins playing. You get to become part of their lives as their caterer.” And her design and catering team are prepping for the Annual Miami HEAT Charitable Foundation Gala, this year at the American Airlines Arena.

The foodie shares her tried and true recipe for sugar cookies. “I love the sugar cookies I make for Christmas. Only for Valentine’s Day, I cut them out to look like hearts.”

A Joy Wallace Sugar Cookie Recipe

Makes 25 cookies

  • 16 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of salt

Cream the butter with the sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix. Gradually add flour and baking powder. Refrigerate cookie dough until firm. Roll the dough out to desired thickness and cut into hearts. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden.


  • 1 Box Sifted Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp McCormick’s (only) Vanilla

Add milk (can use buttermilk if you prefer) while using beater until it is of spreading consistency.
Share with your sweetheart and enjoy!

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