Alumni Spotlight: Holly Bergeson Cunningham ’91
From a young age, Holly Cunningham has loved baking and entertaining. “I was always the friend who organized the sleepovers, the parties, and the events,” says Holly. In 1998, after working in sales for a few years and sharing her own treats with customers, Holly founded her own baking company, Hollyberry. In 2001, she launched a catering division to provide box lunches and buffets for corporate clients, as well as contemporary menus for events.
“I love to serve people like I do my own family—with real ingredients that taste amazing,” she says. Her company, voted “Favorite St. Louis Caterer” by the readers of Sauce Magazine for the past five years, has grown to become one of the largest catering companies in the St. Louis area.
Holly also oversees Campus Cuisine by Hollyberry, which serves as Westminster’s full-time food provider. She says working at Westminster has been her favorite experience of her career. “At Westminster, I have loved getting involved in the education aspect of our role,” she says. “From Garden Club field trips to teaching health classes and coordinating summer camp, I’ve had some amazing opportunities to show how food is God’s gift to us, how we can create new things from natural ingredients, and how we can enjoy these things together as a community.”
Holly says she learned a number of lessons as a Westminster student that she applies to her life as a businessperson today. “I learned how to do research and analysis at Westminster, so as a business owner, I know not to just jump into a new idea but rather listen to customers and do the research as needed to determine if it is a viable idea,” says Holly. “I also learned to write at Westminster. It may seem trivial, but it is so helpful to be able to write my own content for social media, speeches, and marketing materials.” Finally, Holly says, she learned what it means to put God at the center of her life. “He is at the center of my success and my company,” she says. “No matter what we are doing or working on, my staff (not all of whom are Christians) know that we give credit to God for the opportunity to serve and be of service to others.”
Serving others has been a priority for Holly throughout her career. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality. On a local scale, Holly, named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s prestigious “40 Under 40” list in 2010, has partnered with the St. Patrick Center and its BEGIN New Venture Center to create the “Gifts that Give Back!” program; established a mentoring program with Big Brothers Big Sisters; and partnered with SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and Dierbergs Markets, Inc., to create “Home Run Bars,” the official snack of the 2012 “Homers for Health” initiative.
In her spare time, Holly enjoys sailing with her husband, Guy, playing the harp and singing with their identical twin daughters, Isabel and Genevieve (12), and experimenting with new recipes—many of them found on Pinterest! The family attends church at The Journey – Tower Grove and resides in Webster Groves.