Notable Edibles

The Magic of a Setting: A La Crate Vintage Rentals

By Stacy Fahey | Photos By Jen Dederich Photography and courtesy of A La Crate 0

Editor’s Note: The following is a sponsored post about A La Crate Vintage Rentals, who has generously sponsored Edible Madison’s Dinner Service event on October 19, 2014. We are thrilled to work with them and share more about the unique work they do.

There is something magical about the way a thoughtful setting can enhance your sensory experience of an event, bring forth a memory from the past, or transport you into a different time and place entirely. Sarah and Jeff Mullins, owners of A La Crate Vintage Rentals, understand this magical art of table presentation and how it enhances a food experience.

A La Crate is a vintage, reclaimed and custom rental warehouse filled with collections and unique props to outfit any wedding, event, design project or photo shoot. Sarah and Jeff’s collections tantalize the imagination and are a reminder that details matter. Thoughtful details take an ordinary wooden table and turn it into a scene that could be from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Photo by
Jen Dederich Photography

Weddings are very popular for A La Crate and they’ve made many newlyweds’ special days all the more charming. However, weddings are only part of the picture. Their props are often sought out for photo shoots, displays, and a variety of parties and events.

A La Crate’s blog posts read like a how-to manual for pulling off these incredible settings. On the blog you can read tips and be inspired by what they do with their featured items, which range from an every-day ladder to a one-of-a-kind collection of vintage sewing drawers and a grand Victorian couch. If you are unable stop by the warehouse, their Instagram account features beautiful photos of their newest additions.

If you are overwhelmed by their impressive collection, have no fear! A La Crate team members brainstorm the right fit with their clients to create a scene that reflects the client’s personal taste, create a specific mood and, most of all, engage guests in the scene and the food. They want to take away the stress that often accompanies the search to find the many individual items that combine to create a unique event and mood.

Perhaps the most important thing we can learn from Sarah and Jeff is that your table display can make sharing good food with family and friends all the more special. Often, we are so focused on the food that we don’t spend any time on the display, but the table top and decorations play an important role in creating a more connected experience.

Are you feeling inspired? Below, Sarah shares some of her favorite tips, which are sure to take your next event up a few notches:

Signage: Sometimes signage is overlooked but your guests will be appreciative to know more about what they are eating. A La Crate rents a variety of chalkboards, slate pieces, wood and mirror surfaces so that you can present your menu, ingredients, where the food is sourced from and more (they also offer custom writing). Or maybe you have your own signage and you’d like a unique way to hold it up. Try using a holder like the Flower Frogs or bent fork stand below.

Layering: Layers allow you to add texture to a table and highlight the food. By displaying foods on different heights, it focuses the eye on one item instead of trying to take in an entire single-layer table at once. This is visually pleasing as well as practical for dessert displays, centerpieces, buffet lines, etc. to allow easier access to items that are toward the back or center of the table.


Centerpieces: Remember to keep it simple, especially when serving family style. Let your food be the star. Try an uncomplicated vase, like the ones below, filled with greenery or a flower or two. The sugar molds (wood item below) only need tea lights added to the glass inserts. No matter what you do, have fun with it!


Do you have any great display ideas that really set the mood for an event you hosted? Share them with us in the comments!

A La Crate Vintage Rentals
2619 Industrial Drive, Monona
Open Tuesday through Thursday 1:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m. and other days/times by appointment. | 608-669-2541

Browse more of their inventory at, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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