We began as a small barbecue catering company, but you helped us grow to serve throughout central Illinois. Here’s our story.

Our Beginning

Our reputation for quality began in 1967. That’s when Nelson Gongwer invented his patented Port-A-Pit cooking unit, systematically dipping meat into a family-secret sauce while being grilled to perfection over an open flame. His innovative technique has truly provided us with an edge over our competition, allowing us to provide that same quality and consistency for our clients throughout central Illinois for more than 25 years.

Since opening in Springfield, IL in 1995, the Lindvall family has offered the best quality catering services for outdoor events, parties, weddings, special events and holidays at affordable prices to the entire central Illinois area. We have catered to every kind of event including corporate events, weddings, home parties, birthdays and picnics. We take pride in offering our clients top quality food and catering services while still meeting your budget.

Our services include pick up, delivery catering with set-up, or delivery catering with service staff. We can provide buffet catering for a small board meeting, a client reception for hundreds, or a themed event for thousands of guests. You can be assured your event will have the experience, delicious food and professionalism you are looking for.

Port a Pit

Today - Catering for Every Event

Nelson’s Catering has expanded during the past 25 years to serve our clients throughout central Illinois. We’ve developed into an award-winning catering company with expansive menus for all occasions. Whatever the occasion, Nelson’s Catering team is ready to serve you start to finish.


Here at Nelson's, our values define who we are. We come to work every day determined to provide the best catering and customer service in central Illinois. We care about our customers and community above all else because without you we wouldn't be able to do what we love.

Customer Service is Our Highest Priority

Our #1 goal is to exceed your expectations. Because we are an organized team, you will not find yourself “selecting 1 for event bookings” when you give us a call. If you call or email us within our business hours, we promise to be attentive to your needs.

Simple Ingredients = Great Food

We believe in providing menu items guests will love. We enjoy being creative in presentation, but when it comes to our food items we believe in combining simple ingredients with an excellent product to create a menu all of your guests will enjoy, love and appreciate.

We’re not going to lie here, without our patented grilling system we wouldn’t have entered into the catering industry. Our stainless-steel grilling system truly gives us an edge against our competition. By strategically dipping our hand-selected meats into a signature marinade, rotating them along an integrative conveyer-like system over hot coals, our grills allow us to provide a tender, moist and consistent product each and every time.

Experience is Everything

We’ve been catering for more than 25 years now. We’ve been fortunate to grow and expand with a loyal team, now backed with several grills and a fleet of vans to help support us. Many catering companies are both owned and ran by a chef. Although our kitchen is a vital part of what we do, our kitchen team-members only represent a small portion of who we are. By working with Nelson’s, you’re not only gaining a talented kitchen crew focused on providing you with mouthwatering foods – you’re also gaining a knowledgeable sales staff to support you throughout the planning process. Your orders are not hand-written on pieces of paper; they are carefully placed into our software program, ensuring all details are safely communicated to our entire team from start to finish.

Giving Back to Our Community

Our fundraising program has provided us with a way to give back to the communities we cater to. In addition to helping local schools, churches and various non-profit organizations to raise millions of dollars for their causes, Nelson’s has also given out hundreds of complementary Back Yard BBQ’s for clients focused on raising money for community needs. We also offer a military service member discount for all private events.

BBQ Fundraising
Nelson's Catering appetizer