We recently sat down with Katherine from Katherine Anne Confections to discuss her business and why she is a member of the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance.
What inspires you?
Smiles. Seeing the reaction when people try our sweets: watching their faces brighten really makes my day. In the end, my job is really to make people happy, and I think we do that.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
I think most people know I grew up on a 200 acre goat farm by now (right?) but few would know that I exhibited said goats at the Royal Agriculture Winter Fair in Toronto, and won second place in showmanship when I was a teen. Ahh, the glory days.. I also played piano for 10 years and went to the State competition as part of a musical group for several years.
Why did you chose to open a sustainable business in Chicago?
Besides a love of red tape, amirite? Seriously, Chicago is a great city. I love the people that have created an old-fashioned small business support network, so I feel like I am part of one big family. It’s becoming easier every day to be sustainable, from composting to recycling to the advances of protected bike lanes. I may never leave.
What is your favorite thing about working with local ingredients?
The quality. Fruit is the most ripe, flavorful, and juicy when it was picked just days or hours before we receive it. We then get to infuse that flavor into our sweets. It makes for an incomparable flavor. Plus, we get to put names and faces to our farmers.
Citrus truffle, hands down. It has lemon, orange, lime, and lemongrass – it’s very refreshing and summery.
Can you give us one Green Kitchen tip?
Compost – I can’t say it enough! Maybe it’s a given by now, and I’m preaching to the choir, but it makes a huge difference. We compost about 5x as much as we throw away.
A couple of additional tips would be to not waste anything. Have a bag in your freezer for garlic/onion skins, mushroom stems, and other things that would add undesirable texture to foods. As long as it’s not dirty or spoiled, it will add great flavor to homemade stock. I also substitute items all the time when I’m cooking at home – if a recipe calls for milk and I have some sour cream or yogurt about to go bad, I’ll put that in instead. Thinly slice broccoli and cauliflower stems and use them in soups, or right alongside the florets.
Why did you want to join the CGWA?
It started off as a great group of people I really enjoyed hanging out with. Then it evolved to the same group of people really trying to make a difference. I truly believe we will need to make changes in the way we live our lives in order to continue existing on this planet. I’m doing what I can, and hoping that we can all influence others to be just a little more mindful in their day-to-day life.
Katherine Anne Confections will be participating in Committed with sample truffles and a hot chocolate bar in the Rumpus Room!