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Meet Ali Cole of The Farinata Project in North Side

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ali Cole.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ali. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The Farinata was borne out of time spent in Italy and a bag of chickpea flour given as a gift. Culinary creator, Ali Cole, lived abroad in Italy in 2006.  While hanging out with the Italians and experimenting with locally published cookbooks, Ali discovered farinata for her first time. A number of years later, living back in Chicago, Ali was gifted a bag of chickpea flour from the Ligurian coast.  After adopting a gluten-free diet, Ali realized this was the perfect food for her daily life. There are so many  options for working with the flatbread, it’s both versatile and adaptable. Further experimentation with the recipe, brought about different cultural taste profiles to create her very own farinata recipes.

Her experimentation with the recipe, led to a blog named The Farinata Project.  Ali shared ingredients and process on her blog and in return, asked for readers ‘feedback.’ Ali remembers, “I knew, I was onto something.” There was an overwhelming, positive response. A mother-of-two, she was sharing the flatbread with friends and family when they began to request the farinata for entertaining. Based on the overwhelming positive response, Ali decided to to approach local, upscale grocery and specialty stores with her homemade farinata and from there, The Farinata Project’s retails sales were borne.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s never a smooth road. The ride is the fun part. Bumps provide opportunity for creation and new direction. Those new connections and intersection is the richness of entrepreneurship. My biggest struggle is educating people on this wonderful Italian food. It has been around since 1200 AD. You could call it the precursor to pizza. With its rich history, it’s still new to the US. There so much wonderful storytelling that comes with introducing Farinata to the American market!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Farinata Project recreates tasty, Italian flatbread for the modern American market. From the streets of Italy to your table, Farinata is a beautiful, wholesome chickpea bread both naturally grain free and high in protein.  Farinata has been around for centuries, lovingly baked in the hills of the Linguarian coast of Italy. In today’s marketplace, consumers are looking for bread alternatives. This flatbread is tasty a alternative for discerning eaters everywhere. Visit www.thefariantaproject.com for more information about the project and the history of farinata.

Ali Cole, founder of The Farinata Project, is a serial entrepreneur with a curiosity for interesting creative intersections. How do we bring unknown elements together to create new, better, exciting? While living in Italy, spending time with locals and experimenting with regionally published cookbooks, Ali discovered farinata for her first time. A number of years later, she is introducing this much loved, traditional Italian food to the American market.

Prior to The Farinata Project, she worked extensively with makers in art and design, where she spent many years focused on career development, sales, marketing and PR in the digital start-up space, product and furniture design and nonprofit arts. Ali has a BA in Art and Psych from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her MA in Arts Administration from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was rebellious and creative. I excelled in the arts and breaking rules. I loved working with my hands; I was constantly cooking and experimenting with food. I loved to fix anything, making new out of old. A great mindset for a entrepreneur.

Pricing:

  • My Farinata retails for around $8.99 at Chicago Whole Foods

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.thefarinataproject.com
  • Phone: 9177838303
  • Email: ali@thefarinataproject.com
  • Instagram: @farinataproject
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFarinataProject/
  • Twitter: @farinataproject

Image Credit:
Ali Cole

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