Before I was a small business owner, I graduated top of my class at The Culinary Institute of America and was named best student chef by Food & Wine Magazine. As a professional in the culinary world, I worked at the Ritz Carlton, organized the certified Master Chef exam, and commanded a 4-star, 5-diamond restaurant as the Sous Chef of the historic Hilton Netherland Plaza hotel. I also competed against 20,000+ applicants to land a spot as a contestant on Bravo’s television competition Next Top Chef.
It was during my senior year of college that I met my husband Greg Hope. He was a cadet at the United States Military Academy, and like many military spouses, I chose to follow my soldier to where ever the Army sent us.
Over the years, I tried to continue to use my knowledge and passion to find work near our Army post. I worked as a cake decorator at the Commissary, managed a Panera, and catered, but I found it difficult to maintain my chosen profession with moving every few years.