Barbara Behan Howlett
Barbara Behan Howlett joined Glorious Affairs as an Events Coordinator in 1994, while in college pursuing a teaching degree. She learned the business from the ground up – working in the office, overseeing events, prepping in the kitchen, and meeting clients. Barbara discovered a passion for working with brides and grooms, and her creative energy flourished in the design of elegant and simple food offerings.
In 2007, Barbara purchased Glorious Affairs, achieving her goal of being a small business owner. She focused on the core qualities of the business, unique food design and personal attention to clients, and surrounded herself with the best team of chefs, coordinators, and service staff. Barbara takes a personal approach to every aspect of the business and customizes each event to meet the needs of the her diverse client base. Each menu is designed to meet a client’s personal taste and leverages the fabulous farm fresh and locally grown ingredients in Rhode Island.
As the youngest of twelve children, Barbara grew up in a local Newport family with ties to many of the town’s businesses and people. She is committed to working with and supporting a wide range of local companies, especially ones involved in the events sector of Newport County.
With a son and daughter, Barbara leads a busy, yet rewarding life and enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Executive Chef Stephen Donovan has been with Glorious Affairs for the past eight years. He brings with him not only a passion for food and a fervent commitment to perfection, but also three decades of experience in the fine dining and food industry.
Stephen is partial to the boutique catering business because he enjoys customizing the menu based on the client’s inspirations. Dedicated to serving Rhode Island’s farm fresh and locally sourced ingredients, his commitment to food is unparalleled in the business.
As one of six children, Stephen discovered his love for cooking as a young man preparing meals for his family. His vast knowledge and experience stems from his early career working in some of Newport’s finest restaurants such as the Clarke Cooke House and the White Horse Tavern. Prior to joining the Glorious Affairs team, he was Executive Chef for Plantation Catering.
With a son in college, Stephen spends the short off-season volunteering, hiking portions of the Appalachian Trail, and developing plates based on the latest trends and flavors.
Wendy Cobb started her career in catering in 1980 at the very young age of 14. She continued to work through high school and college, and at the age of 21 she was offered a job as an assistant in the office detailing sales and events. Wendy handled many of the largest social events in Newport, claiming the Preservation Society as her biggest client. Wendy left in 2004 to join another catering service as the Director of Sales, where she garnered the top sales in the company.
There, Wendy found herself planning and executing many of Newport’s most talked about events, including numerous located at the Mansions and private estates in town. Her success earned her the General Manager position in 2006.
In 2010, Wendy decided it was time to open her own company and she, along with her sister, opened a small, successful catering company in Middletown, RI. In addition to her role as a lead event planner and coordinator, she played a key role in managing the kitchen and producing their menus. In an effort to spend more time with their family and find better balance, the sisters decided it was time to pursue other adventures.
We are excited to have Wendy bring her passion for the business along with her knowledge and expertise to Glorious Affairs.