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Meet Kathleen Frantz of Katy’s Goodness in Oak Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathleen Frantz.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kathleen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up, I was always taught the importance of family and community. On our block everybody knew everyone, and we made it a point to take care of each other. A big part of coming together was around the table — whether it be family dinners, holidays or just friends and neighbors visiting. My mom was an excellent cook, and every holiday we would make a variety of Christmas candies to share with our friends and family. As a result it was natural that my passions became people and food.

I decided to make my career the culinary arts. I went to school for culinary arts/management and had the good fortune to study under the first certified master chef in the USA, Milos Cihelka, and at Ecole L’Notre in France.

My world changed when I became a single parent of two children in my late-twenties. They became my priority, and my main objective was to send them into the world with good heads on their shoulders, contributing to society in a positive way. To support them, I used my culinary training to teach cooking classes, develop recipes for global food companies, edit cookbooks, and create comprehensive food design programs. My passion for the culinary arts and community led me to find a certified woman-owned company, Katy’s Goodness, focused on healthy snacks that give back to the community. Along the way, I always instilled the importance of service to others into my children. Throughout their childhood, I made sure we were volunteering and giving back to others so that they could see firsthand the impact they could make on someone’s life as well as have a greater respect for the whole of society.

Today, my passion for strengthening communities has blossomed even further. I have just written a book called Heart To Hands: Making Your Community Stronger Through Heartfelt Intention and Powerful Actions. It is a resource to provide simple ways to help a person take achievable steps toward impacting someone’s life and help bring communities closer together. It is filled with inspirational stories and ideas
created to help start and spread a movement of goodness for individuals, schools, businesses, and communities, no matter where a person lives. I would like to think it can be the spark to light a fire in everyone who reads it, and a place for not only sharing ideas but encouraging and welcoming new ones. Today and always, a person’s words and actions make a difference.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been a smooth road along the way. It was very difficult being a single mother and trying to balance the needs of my children by making a living. As I mentioned earlier, the jobs that I took were the ones that would allow me more flexibility so that I could be there each night to put a home-cooked meal on the table.

In 2007, I moved to Chicago to expand my business through an additional partnership. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out, and I continued my business on my own in a town where I had no family and fewer contacts. I built my business through sheer grit and determination. I was successfully selling products when my co-packer went nut-free and I had to find a new factory. This actually happened two more times as well.

On a personal note, I have had many health issues along the way. I discovered I was allergic to shellfish after going into anaphylactic shock after eating a sip of bouillabaisse. I also had a perforated colon a few months after that. In 2012, I was standing on a deck when the railing gave way, and I fell backwards seven feet headfirst onto bricks, breaking several bones and having a traumatic brain injury. I’m amazed I’m still here today! I think all of these collective experiences have taught me the true definition of perseverance.

Katy’s Goodness – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Katy’s Goodness is focused on better for you snacking and community. Our product line focuses on nutrient-dense snacks that taste good. Every project we work on has a give back component to a specific community. For example, MyOHMega cookies give back to military veteran families. We are currently taking steps to build out our own factory and ultimately will be able to not only work on our concepts but co-pack for other companies.

I’m proud that I can use my talents to provide people with healthier snacks but also give back to those in need.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I’m actually really excited about this new book. It’s been something in the back of my mind for a really long time, and I was just able to publish it. It’s getting good feedback from everybody who has read, and I have a lot of hope for inspiring others to get involved and to make their communities stronger.

Pricing:

  • The book will be $12.95 on Amazon and other retail sites as of late-October.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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