Katherine Anne Confections, 2745 West Armitage Avenue, Chicago, IL. 773.245.1630
Renting kitchen time for my production in 12-hour shifts gives me a vantage point somewhere between fly on the wall and one of the gang. And observing Katherine’s operation is as instructive as it is inspirational. During her 8 years in business, Katherine’s offerings have grown exponentially, and her truffles, caramels and marshmallows sell in more than 40 stores and 7 weekly markets. Her staff of 7 includes full and part-timers.
As I hauled in equipment and got to work on my first day, they hand-wrapped thousands of mints for a law firm, set up a tiered display for a wedding show at the Chicago Historical Society, and packaged PB&J filled chocolate eggs for Easter.
“I can’t believe what you’ve built without ever going to college,” I mention, awestruck.
“I’m more proud of doing this without any financial assistance or connections,” Katherine counters.
Besides the mouthwatering confections, the charming storefront has a menu including soup and sandwiches. But the real draw is the hot chocolate “flights”: with choices like bittersweet, peppermint mocha or salted caramel topped with blocky marshmallows in flavors like lemon ginger and peanut Fleur de Sel.
“What’s your favorite?” Katherine cheerfully asks throughout the day, handing truffle samples to visitors, including the UPS and USPS delivery guys.