A Rose is a Rose: 12 O'clock Tart puts a spin on food delivery | Chow | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Food & Drink » Chow

A Rose is a Rose: 12 O'clock Tart puts a spin on food delivery


It's not take out, it's delivery.Rose McKenna is a motivated woman. Growing up on Maui with a single mother on welfare didn't inhibit her drive to succeed. She knew from a young age that her life would involve food and went for it with a passion.

Growing up poor meant no exposure to restaurants. To Rose, restaurants were magical places where everyone got to order what they wanted. After listening to a recruiter for the Western Culinary Institute at a high school job fair, she decided that was the way in. Rose moved to Portland at 19. Living off student loans, she graduated with honors and recommendations from the director.

She then went through a whirlwind real-life restaurant education that took her from a cult restaurant in Hollywood, to sandwich research and development in Paris, to fine dining in Italy, to making American desserts in the Bavarian Alps. She has worked with the likes of Nancy Silverton, Sheri Yard and Lee Hafter as well as top Italian chef Massimo Salatino.

Once back in the States, finding a job wasn't a problem-she just had to figure out Bend and got the pastry chef job at Broken Top. "It was an ideal job. I had total creative freedom; I loved my boss, David Able, had great benefits, but I felt as though I had taken the job as far as I could. I was dying to sink my teeth into a new challenge," says Rose about her decision to leave Broken Top after three years. While brainstorming with a friend, Rose came up with the concept "amazing lunch online" and 12 O'clock Tart was born.

Rose describes it as " a unique niche, a streamlined way to order fresh, seasonal food without leaving your office, recruiting others for a bulk order, or having to time your lunch break with others in the office." The entire system runs through her website (12oclocktart.com): menu choices, orders, and payments. It is a seamless system that allows the diner to have more freedom than conventional delivery services or ordering take-out food.

The only caveat is that orders must be placed by 10am, which has been the biggest obstacle to the expansion of the business. "It's a process of rethinking ingrained behavior. Instead of pulling the paper menu out of the drawer at 11:45, it's getting people to plan ahead for lunch."

Not to say Rose isn't busy. An unexpected part of her business has taken off: traditional corporate catering. Orders for business lunches, conferences, seminars and brokers' open houses are so abundant that she turns down as many as she takes.

But that's not the part of the business she really wants to succeed - it's the online lunch delivery feature that she's most focused on. She now knows that there is a learning curve for customers to start thinking about lunch right after they eat breakfast, but she believes her product will turn people around. She prepares inspired seasonal food, which changes monthly. Things like a strawberry, turkey and brie sandwich; a cobb salad with big chunks of turkey and peppered bacon; roasted green onion soup, and cream brulee are just a few selections from the 12 O'clock Tart menu. And to reward your conscience, Rose uses all green products: compostable cutlery and paper products from corn, potato and sugar cane fibers; she composts all food waste, and gives all leftover prepared food to Neighbor Impact and also donates her facilities to the organization for sanitizing their food storage bins.

To further help the communities' needy, Rose is hosting "Network Blankets Bend," a fundraiser to benefit Project Homeless Contact, a group that takes blankets, tents and warm clothing to folks living without permanent shelter. Through the Network of Entrepreneurial Women, the evening of music, wine and food will be staged at the 12 O'clock Tart location, 147 NE Olney Ste. 2, dressed up in "industrial chic". The event is Dec 3 and the price of admission is a $25 ticket (available on www.networkwomen.org) and a warm blanket.

12 O'Clock Tart

About The Author

Add a comment

More by Mike Bookey