A Deer Park, Texas-based caterer dropped the ball big time, leaving several Texas families with no meals and no time to remedy the situation. While that's unfortunate, I have several questions, including: why did these folks order catering out of a guy's garage? I'm not trying to victim blame, but I am puzzled.

First, let's review the facts. Maddhouse Catering (not the most auspicious name) started advertising for Thanksgiving meals earlier this month. It sounds like a pretty good deal: $220 for two turkeys, ham, and four sides. There was also a la carte options to buy various meats, trays of sides, and pies. However, something went awry and many people paid hundreds for a whole lot of nothing.

The proprietor, who is listed as Lance Madden on the company's Facebook, posted a plea to "let him respond" to allegations that he ripped people off, and to give him time to issue refunds. He might have been in a panic because these folks were outside his home, as he was operating his business out of his garage.

Maybe the  Houston area is different, but this doesn't appear to jive with Texas Cottage Laws, which does NOT allow for the person-to-person sale of items that require refrigeration to keep from spoiling. You can read more about Texas Cottage Laws here (although the pies would have been okay, if they had been real).


This caused such a ruckus that the local news covered it. This shows footage of the house with folks outside trying to talk to someone to get their money back. Some folks have even filed police reports about the incident:

I still have questions, mostly, why did he let people know as soon as something went awry so they could at least try to come up with a different meal? Why weren't refunds issued immediately?

Here's hoping these people get their money back. Suffice it to say I won't be ordering a Christmas meal, which the business is currently advertising.

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