Born the daughter of a simple grocer, Carol Ann Steele Kates grew up in the corner market environment, living and breathing the grocery business. She learned to select superior products much like other children learn the alphabet. She garnered her most valuable lesson about cooking from her father. Great food begins with shopping. The quality of the ingredients used when preparing a meal is just as important as the recipe.

Spending the majority of her adult life owning and operating supermarket and delis in Northern Colorado, Ms. Kates gained invaluable insight into the culinary preferences of the average American and expertise in the preparation of these dishes. This background earned her the title of “Ingredient Authority”. She can maneuver her way through a supermarket, select the most delectable products, and prepare a savory meal.

Following the closure of the markets, Ms. Kates compiled the recipes she perfected for her family business into a cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market. This book is a practical and usable collection of family-tested, customer-approved recipes and contains insider tips about selecting and storing food. Kates won three awards for this book, including First Place, CIPA EVVY Awards; Honorable Mention, Writer’s Digest 14th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards; and Notable, Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Secret Recipes from the Corner Market was also selected as a Top Ten Favorite Cookbooks by the Denver Post Food Staff.

After the publication of this cookbook, Kates manufactured a small line of gourmet food products under the brand name Corner Market Secret Recipe, which she sold in local retail outlets, farmers’ markets, and craft fairs. Her exposure to farmer market instilled in Kates a passion for locally-grown, seasonal food. She learned to maneuver her way through a farmers’ market, select the freshest produce, and prepare a delicious meal. This experience served as the inspiration for her upcoming cookbook, Cooking Seasonally in Colorado.

Kates retired from food manufacturing to follow her true passion—writing. She is currently working on a series of three historical fiction novels. The first, A Proper House, is finished and currently being presented to agents. The second in the series is titled What Churns Beneath. Kates’ major focus is a memoir, Busted But Not Broken, in which she details the heart-breaking, suspenseful, hard-fought ending of her family’s business.