Beloit Daily News

A remodeled kitchen, a local chef, and several bottles of wine, that's Anne and Matt Goodwin's latest recipe for goodwill and good marketing. The Goodwins own No Problem Builders, a Beloit, Wis., remodeling company that a few years ago organized a tour of clients' homes to benefit Habitat for Humanity ( see “Homes on Parade,” February 2005). More recently, the couple enlisted a local chef to come into a client's newly remodeled kitchen (shown above, with the Goodwins) and create a sequence of tapas — small, savory dishes — and pair them with a progression of wines.

“Our hostess had some friends, and we had some friends,” Anne says, and collectively they rounded up 15 local women to enjoy the show. Their price of admission was $50: $30 for the chef, plus a suggested donation of $20 for a Habitat for Humanity program for women. The guests' generosity exceeded her request, netting the charity $800.

Besides raising money for a good cause, the chef's demo “was also a way to showcase how one of our kitchen designs works,” Anne says. “We were definitely surrounded by our potential client base, and we got great responses.”

Key to pulling off such an event is developing strong relationships with existing clients. “We leave them as friends,” she says. “If we let the door slam on us on the way out, we'll never get back into their home.”