- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - No one throws a Super Bowl tailgate party like the NFL and its sponsors, which puts Shoup’s catering in Frankfort on a world-class playing field for party planners.

Cindy Shoup Cacy and Amy Shoup Mennen, along with three other managers from Shoup’s Country Store - or more specifically, its catering service - will manage all of the crews from about 40 caterers from the New York and New Jersey areas.

“We really feel privileged to get this,” Cacy told the Journal & Courier (http://on.jconline.com/1clwzQc ). “Here we are a caterer in the middle of Indiana, and we are the only caterer in the United States that gets this gig.

“We’re kind of the envy of the caterers across the nation. They would all love to have that job, and it is fun. It’s really hard, but it’s doing something different. It’s great to be part of something really big and really exciting.”

“This is a private party. You cannot buy tickets to this party we do,” Mennen said. “It is for all the sponsors and dignitaries.”

Cacy added, “You have to have a ticket to the Super Bowl and you have to have a ticket to this party.”

While the caterers selected to provide food for the VIP tailgate party are locals, those attending are celebrities, and the guest list reads like a who’s who from the music, entertainment and sports businesses. The way Cacy and Mennen describe it, you can’t toss a football at the party without hitting a celebrity.

“All 11,000 of them, they’re all VIPs,” Cacy said.

Sunday’s VIP tailgate party is the place to be. It always is, the sisters said. They’re now in their third year of managing the caterers at the Super Bowl, a business relationship that started in 2012 when Indianapolis hosted the NFL championship.

They managed the crews at last year’s Super Bowl in New Orleans. Now they’re back to work Sunday’s party in East Rutherford, N.J., near MetLife Stadium where the game kicks off at 6:25 p.m.

“They always plan this party as an actual tailgate party,” Cacy said, “so wherever this party is, it is within walking distance to where the stadium is.”

The doors open about four hours before the game, and the rooms are packed until right before kickoff, when the masses leave for their seats, leaving the caterers to clean up and watch the game on big-screen TVs at the party site.

While the sisters, the caterers and their crews rub elbows with the celebrities, for those working the party, it’s a job, not a photo op.

“One of our big rules is that you don’t take any pictures of the inside of this thing,” Cacy said. “You don’t talk to celebrities. You don’t take pictures with them. Everybody has their cellphones, but nobody is allowed (to take photos).”

In some cases, they recognize celebrities - Adam Sandler, Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler, Danny DeVito, to name a few. But there also are the celebrities they don’t recognize.

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