HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) — A Springfield chef and caterer celebrated the progress he’s made on the road to recovery from alcoholism. It’s been a turbulent three years for 32-year-old Christopher Bland, going from uncertainty to ownership of his own business, a catering company called Sober Chef.

On Thursday the MiraVista Behavioral Health Center honored Chris with only their second Admiration Award at a luncheon in Holyoke which Chris himself catered as recognition marking a successful struggle against alcoholism.

“At a certain time in your life, you need to do something to help yourself. I did that. For me it was going to a detox, rehab and living in a sober house where I can learn the necessary living skills to be successful,” expressed Christopher Bland, Owner of Sober Chef Caterers.

Chris Bland shared the joy of the moment with his mother, Sherrell Velasquez. She told 22News of the pride she has in her son for the way he’s tackled his addiction recovery, “I’m very proud of my son, he’s come a very, very long way. I’ll always support him in anything he does, and I can see the change in him over the years.”

Presenting Chris with its admiration award is MiraVista’s way of saluting him for his progress, making all the hard choices and making them work for him.

“It means a lot to be able to work together, to have a close partnership with individuals like Chris, as a working diligent partner,” expressed MiraVista’s Chief of Creative Strategy and Development, Kimberly Lee.

As a big part of his long term recovery Chris Bland gives back to the community with acts of kindness; delivering meals to the homeless during the Pandemic, and hoping his new found direction in life will have a positive impact on others who are on a similar journey.