After feeding thousands, local caterer taking time to enjoy retirement

Auction slated this month; space available at Triangle South

For the Record
Posted 3/5/21

After 14 years at Triangle South Enterprise Center, Crimson Lights Catering stopped operations in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Owners Shirley and Lacy Massey have decided to discontinue the business and are auctioning equipment later this month.

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After feeding thousands, local caterer taking time to enjoy retirement

Auction slated this month; space available at Triangle South


When Shirley Massey came to Triangle South Enterprise Center in July of 2006 to inquire about renting the kitchen at the small business incubator in Dunn, it was not the first time she had been in the building. Her first involvement with Triangle South and Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center was as a Notary instructor many years before.

Shirley and her husband, Lacy Massey, wanted to open a catering business and from that idea Crimson Light Catering was born.

For over a decade, Crimson Lights Catering would feed thousands. They prepared meals at Triangle South that were served on and off the premises for many groups and organizations, including Dunn Rotary, Lions Club, Dunn Crime Stoppers, Christian Women’s Club, After 5 Club, chamber events, real estate classes, weddings and many more gatherings.

Nancy Blackman, director of Dunn Area Committee of 100 Inc., which administers the center, recalls, “Some days I would drive up to the building and could not even find a parking place because of the gatherings that she hosted. When I would enter the building many days, I would smell the aroma of some delicious food.”

The Masseys always served their guests with a smile and open arms.

“Shirley is so much more than Crimson Lights Catering,” said John Riley, a member of Dunn Rotary and CrimeStoppers. “Shirley didn’t just provide a wonderful meal, she provided a mixture of exceptional food and great fellowship. Shirley became part of the organizations she served along with making sure everything went as planned. Shirley added enthusiasm to every event she catered and every detail was very important in fulfilling her obligation to her client.”

Director of Triangle South Enterprise Center, Mari-inetta Pavlic continued to offer support and guidance to Shirley and Lacy Massey over the past five years as the business continued to serve the community.

After 14 years at Triangle South, Crimson Lights stopped operations in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, they made the decision that Shirley would retire and enjoy time with family. To many Shirley Massey retiring is not the end, it is a new beginning of friendship and fellowship to be enjoyed and embraced by her loving community.

“It has been very rewarding to work with Shirley and Lacy over the years,” Pavlic said. “They have provided countless meals and enjoyment to patrons of our community. Triangle South will surely miss the sweet smells and memories of Crimson Lights.”

Shirley Massey is thankful for all the support from the community and the friendships gained over the years. “Crimson Lights Catering and staff would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our clients, civic clubs, community, Triangle South and staff for your major impact, and your support which encouraged our commitment to our catering business,” she said. “You made a positive difference giving us the opportunity to cater to your needs. We deeply appreciate and acknowledge your friendship as our reward to all people that we met on our catering business journey. The decision to retire was not easy. I will now enjoy the fruits of my life that I have earned. Blessings to all.”

As Shirley Massey prepares for this new chapter of her life, Johnson Properties has been called upon to sell all of the assets utilized in her catering business. The online-only auction will run until March 17. More information about this auction can be found at .

Triangle South Enterprise Center will also be preparing the kitchen for a new entrepreneur to begin setting roots in Harnett County. Any individual interested in renting the kitchen space should reach out to Mari-inetta Pavlic at Triangle South Enterprise Center 910-892-2884.


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