The Crew

Kristy VerSynder | Owner

Born and raised in majestic Leelanau County, Kristy VerSnyder is co-owner with Vince Tomczak, of Island Thyme Catering located at The Eagle’s Nest in Lake Leelanau. Kristy’s mother was a chef at The Bluebird Restaurant and her father was a commercial fisherman for Carlson’s Fish Market in Leland. Kristy was raised in a restaurant and dreamed of owning a business like Island Thyme, where clients will find an island “retreat” with no worries. Food was the center of their universe and as they say, the rest is history. Preparing the family dinner was truly a “family” event.

While earning her degree in Speech Communication, Kristy found friends who loved anything food. She has worked in all facets of food service – server, hostess, bartender, manager, prep cook, cook and pastry chef. Having worked in several area restaurants, including, The Bluebird Restaurant and Bar, North Country Bar and Grill, Café Manitou and 9 Bean Rows,

Kristy enjoys catering, creating personalized menus for her client’s special day, and event planning while using fresh produce grown locally in Leelanau County. When not making memories and an unforgettable experience at Island Thyme Catering, Kristy loves to work in the multiple gardens at Eagle’s Nest, spend time with family, hike with her two dogs, Rufus and Vida, and fish for perch. Her special passion is traveling which includes discovering and savoring the flavor of new cultures especially tropical islands with all their colors, floral, water and sounds that she has so elegantly re-created at Island Thyme Catering

Vince Tomczak | Owner

Vince Tomczak originally from Flint, Michigan learned his way around the kitchen by helping his Mom and in his early 20’s, he became a chef and worked at The Desert Restaurant in Flint, where he perfected his culinary skills. Vince is co-owner with his wife Kristy VerSnyder, of Island Thyme Catering that prides itself on savoring the flavor of locally grown produce, while creating signature dishes and customized menus with a farm-to-table attitude. In 2002, Vince moved to Leelanau County permanently and started his own business, Peninsula Excavating and Landscaping. Following his decade old dream for working and designing beautiful landscaped gardens, coupled with his artistic natural ability to design with stone including building retaining stone walls, The Eagle’s Nest, a “tropical paradise” retreat located in Leelanau County, was born. Complete with a fully equipped catering kitchen and entertainment space, small vacation rental cottage, built-in pool, and stone patio, The Eagle’s Nest creates memories of a lifetime!

While Vince enjoys being a co-owner of Island Thyme and property manager for The Eagle’s Nest, his passion is being owner of Peninsula Excavating and Landscaping that with more than 25 years of experience behind his team, features all facets of beauty for your property, including, designing and installing flagstone walkways, retaining walls, seating areas and ponds only limited by your imagination!

Matt Fitzke-Loll | Chef 

Chef Matt Fitzke-Loll, born in Leelanau county, spent most of his formative days in his mothers restaurant Northern Delights in Benzonia. He then went on to graduate from the Great Lakes Culinary Institute in 2006. Since then Matt has held various positions with some of the finest companies in the northern lower peninsula including Amical, Travinos, Boyne Highlands CCB, The Riverside Inn and Leelanau Cheese Company.

He now proudly calls Island Thyme Catering home and this will be the third year with the company. “Both Kristy and I have a passion for fresh, delicious, local food so it is a perfect fit”

Matts other hobbies include hiking, rockhounding, making stone jewelry, walking the Slack-line, spinning fire poi, Kayaking, scuba Diving and of course Nutmeg and Rosemary (mini dachshund and cat)

Wendy VerSynder | Pastry Chef 

wendy-versnyderAt Island Thyme Catering, everything we make is made from scratch. From appetizers to main dishes; from breads to desserts, everything is custom made just for you. This allows us to have control over the ingredients we use to ensure the highest quality of foods for our clients.

When you arrive at your event, Wendy VerSnyder is the person to thank for that delightful aroma of homemade, freshly baked bread coming out of the kitchen. Her skills as a pastry chef are proven with the smell, flavor and texture of each golden slice. Butter has never spread more smoothly on any other bread. Her positive attitude and work ethic make her in integral part of the Island Thyme kitchen crew.

In her free time, Wendy enjoys spoiling her two granddaughters, boating on Lake Leelanau, morel mushroom hunting and, yes, baking.