Heartwood Senior Living
Heartwood is a non-profit senior living community rooted in the shared vision of its two founding organizations: Cuyuna Regional Medical Center and Presbyterian Homes & Services of St. Paul, Minnesota. Located just a couple of blocks from the medical campus in Crosby, Heartwood is situated on 30 acres of tall pines, with welcoming apartment homes that offer serene views of wildlife and woods. Older adults who choose to make Heartwood their home can draw upon the natural harmonies and cycles found in the north woods, creating a rejuvenating and rich quality of life.
This one-of-a-kind community is comprised of three distinctive living options: 50 Terrace senior apartments; 36 Commons assisted living apartments; and 12 Arbor memory care apartments. The extraordinary lifestyle features and amenities are complemented by its access to CRMC Care Center and a full spectrum of health care options at CRMC.
Visit www.heartwoodliving.org to learn more.
Impress your guests at your next event with delicious fresh food that will have everyone talking.
Personalized menus with a focus on quality and culinary creativity as well as its exquisite presentation are developed to meet a wide range of culinary needs. Reserve space on-site in our conference room that seats up to 150 for a dinner or invite us to serve you at your next party, reception, celebration, training or meeting anywhere in the Brainerd Lakes area. Heartwood works with various budgets and will cater for events from 10 to 300 people.
Please call 218-545-8531 to begin your planning today.
About the Director
Alan Hudalla, the Culinary Director of Heartwood Catering in Crosby, has more than 20 years’ experience orchestrating fresh, five-star quality food. The former co-owner and manager of Iven’s on the Bay, he is a Brainerd native and College of St. Thomas graduate who also managed catering operations and restaurants in Minneapolis and San Francisco.
Hudalla has been serving catering clients the past 10 years and also manages the production of 1,500 meals daily at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center. He oversees CRMC’s culinary department which includes daily meals at the Care Center, Cornerstone coffee shop, an employee cafeteria, and clinic and hospital catering needs as well as Heartwood’s resident dining and deli. With the help of two assistant directors, Hudalla supervises 45 staff at CRMC and another 25 employees at Heartwood.
Hudalla began his career as CRMC’s Director of Nutritional Services and six years later became Heartwood’s culinary services director where he worked for another three years. Because of his success in providing quality food and excellent service, he was promoted to director of both areas in 2015.
When he started working at Heartwood, Hudalla says there were pages of complaints. He took the time to listen to residents and spent time on the dining room floor pouring water to residents as an excuse to monitor work flows and service. He says he loves complaining customers so he can learn what is wrong and fix it in an effort to create loyal customers. His focus with Heartwood’s catering is on providing delicious, fresh food with a focus on quality and culinary creativity as well as its exquisite presentation and excellent service.
Hudalla applies his years of restaurant customer experience to the senior living center and hospital. His staff’s motto is “if we can, we will,” and employees strive to satisfy their customers with special requests whenever possible. His other mantra is “does it taste good, and does it look good.” He regularly tastes everything and checks the appearance before a meal is served.
Hudalla has always had an interest in the culinary fare. He was in the 9th grade when he began working as a dishwasher at Grandview Lodge and would ask the kitchen staff how they prepared their meals. When he was a senior at Brainerd High School, his parents opened Iven’s on the Bay and he started working as a bus boy. He eventually became a waiter and served at Iven’s during summers between college.
With a passion for understanding cuisine, Hudalla says whether he was behind the scenes or on a restaurant floor, he was always inquiring about the process of how things were done and took the time as a server to explain dishes to diners.
When he was younger, Hudalla hoped to be an inspirational magic performer and his intention was to pursue the field as a professional so he studied marketing to promote himself. After graduating from college, Hudalla started his professional career in the Twin Cities where he says he learned his culinary skills at “the school of hard knocks.” He was Embassy Suites’ catering director and worked in various positions for Dominico + Partners, a company that owned Azur, Bocce and Linguini and Bob, a restaurant and sports bar near Target Center in Butler’s Square. He also managed Palomino, a fine dining establishment in San Francisco. Eventually, Hudalla headed home to Iven’s as manager and part-owner.
Outside of his avocation, Hudalla enjoys cooking as a pastime and finds it to be a release. Fresh ingredients are his forte and he loves shopping at farmer’s markets. At the grocery store he frequently finds food that he thinks looks good and then takes it home to create something unique. He studies cooking magazines and enjoys watching television programs to understand the origin of popular dishes and applies what he has learned to his creations.
In his current position, Hudalla rarely cooks on the job. However, he enjoys teaches and training his staff in an effort to develop the next generation of culinary experts.