Carol Ann’s Story
I grew up in a corner market, living and breathing the grocery business. I learned my most valuable lesson about cooking from my father, who bluntly said, “Garbage in. Garbage out.” Stated more poetically: Great food begins with shopping. The quality of the ingredients used when preparing a meal is just as important as the recipe. My dad taught me to select superior products much like other parents teach their children the alphabet. Some of my friends have dubbed me as expert in shopping for, selecting, and storing perishables.
After the death of my parents, I inherited ownership in the grocery business my father founded, and I spent the majority of my adult life operating supermarkets and delis in Northern Colorado. This experience gave me invaluable insight into the culinary preferences of the average American and expertise in the preparation of these dishes.
My favorite responsibility was creating recipes for our ads, which gave our customers creative ways to use everyday ingredients. My years in the grocery business taught me the ins and outs, dos and don’ts of supermarket shopping.
After a series of unfortunate events, our markets closed. I compiled the recipes I perfected for our 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. It won three awards, 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 my cookbook, I manufactured a small line of gourmet food products under the brand name Corner Market Secret Recipes, selling it in local retail outlets, farmers’ markets, and craft fairs. I loved participating in farmer markets and developed a new appreciation for cooking seasonally. I developed weekly recipes for seasonal produce and shared them in the Boulder County Farmers’ Market newsletter and other local publications, including the Fort Collins Coloradoan. This experience served as the inspiration for my next cookbook, Cooking Seasonally in Colorado.
I retired from food manufacturing to follow my true passion—writing. I have completed the first in a series of three historical fiction novels—A Proper House—Book One of the Ollie McNary Saga. The second in the series is entitled What Churns Beneath. My present focus is a memoir with a working title of Busted But Not Broken, in which I chronicle the heart-breaking, suspenseful, hard-fought ending of my family’s business.