Our Story

In the beginning it was just owners Jessica & Mataio Gillis in the kitchen.  Now, sixteen years later, it takes a whole team of taste-makers and wait staff to bring Ciaò Thyme’s delicious menus to the table for the thousands of guests we serve each year.

Jessica works with clients to write seasonal menus that highlight local flavors. Mataio works with local farmers and food artisans to procure the best ingredients and still leads the kitchen—cooking at every event.  Mataio is flanked by Sous Chefs Kraig Halterman, John Powell, Charity Caldwell, and our flavor-makers Nicholas Thompson, Matthew Cioni, Bree Snodgrass, Sierra Blunt, Anna Ford.

Ciaò Thyme’s team of friendly, professional wait staff and bartenders is headed up by Jessica.  Our lead servers, Heather Fitzstrawn, Dyana Fiediga, Elian Carbone, & Melissa Hickman deliver the delights of the kitchen to your guests with warm smiles. Pamela Jull curates our wine list and beer selection to provide a variety of food friendly libations for you to enjoy. Our bartenders serve responsibly and keep your guests happy with drinks flowing at the bar. Tastemakers to servers we are team Ciaò Thyme.

Jessica and Mataio are especially grateful for their consigliere, Dr. Pamela Jull, who assimilates the business data, gives counsel on growth, and lends her great wealth of knowledge to the Ciao Thyme program. It is with sincere gratitude, that we acknowledge all the many people who have been a part of the Ciao Thyme team since 2001, and have contributed to the growth, success and culture of Ciao Thyme. 


Ciao Thyme offers a fresh style of catering that features local, seasonal produce and on-site cooking.   Menus are written specifically for the season, venue and the client's taste.  Our menus are constantly evolving as input from our clients, ideas gleaned from food field trips and experimentation in our kitchen push us to grow our culinary repertoire.

Ciao Thyme is a proud member of Sustainable Connections and follows the guidelines of the international Slow Food movement.  We proudly support local, sustainable agriculture by purchasing directly from Whatcom county and Skagit county farmers.  Our alliances with independently owned and operated businesses, from florists to bakeries and farms to coffee roasters, ensure we have the best local products available.  Our fiscal goal is to leave as much of our revenue within our community as possible.

We believe food is an important part of any celebration.  Our aim is to create a unique menu for each client and bring our high standards for food into the community for parties, weddings, and other special events.

Our Community

Our community is important to us—so, we like to give back to this place we call home.  Ciaò Thyme donates 10-15% of its annual revenue in goods and services each year to local non-profits.  From auction items to discounted catering for fundraisers, we’ve given to the organizations that help make Bellingham a great place to live and work.

Some of the non-profits we have supported since 2001 include: Whatcom Volunteer Center, Slum Doctors, Brigid Collins, Lydia Place, The Mission, Bellingham Food Bank, WomenCare Shelter, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assualt Services, NW Youth Services, Whatcom Museum, Children’s Museum, Whatcom Humane Society, Sustainable Connections, Fourth Corner Slow Food, Whatcom Farm Friends, Trees for Salmon, Law Advocates, Conservation NW, Whatcom Hospice Foundation, and Kulshan Community Land Trust, Bellingham Rotary, Pickford Film Center and Whatcom Poetry Foundation.

We are proud business sponsors of: