Babe Watch - Cat Shapiro
I have been absolutely dying to feature Cat Shapiro and had her on my radar for Babe Watch from the moment I started writing them. Cat is the Owner of Thyme & Honey in Michigan. Cat has several different components to her business. She specializes in gourmet meal prep (delivering fresh and healthy meals weekly to her clients...myself included). In addition she does event catering and makes a killer charcuterie. In fact, Cat's coveted charcuterie boards were so in demand that she started offering mini versions of them in her weekly meal prep services and called them Nosh Boxes. From experience, I can tell you her Nosh Boxes are straight up amazing, filled with gourmet cheeses and meats, dried and fresh fruits, chocolates, crackers, and more!
Aside from her baddassery as a chef, I wanted to feature Cat because of who she is as a person...she is real and genuine and a truly authentic supporter of empowering other women. Being a woman in your own small business can feel very singular...like you are doing it all on your own. Cat was such a refreshing person to meet and interact with and someone I grew to really like and appreciate almost immediately. Each week when we discuss meals, I feel like I am talking to a real friend who truly wants to do what she can to make my life better and easier. I truly feel her passion for what she does in the way she speaks.
Get to know more about the lady behind the apron here...
What is Your Website? Insta Handle? (Or However Else We Can Find You!)
_thymeandhoney_ on IG
@thymeandhoneyfood on Facebook
www.thymeandhoneyfood.com (coming soon!)
Why Did You Decide To Start Your Business?
I will always credit my son Eli for forcing me to take that leap I've always wanted. I've worked in the service industry (including coffee) for over 10 years and prior to that I worked in business and customer service/sales for multiple retailers so my spectrum of business has been wide spread. But after graduating culinary school then 2 weeks later having emergency surgery to have a 7" tumor removed out of my abdomen I was left on bed-rest for 2 months and very limited work.
I was unable to return to my regular jobs as a sous chef, catering chef and periodically working at the Country Club Detroit in Grosse Pointe. I could no longer stand to 12+ hours a day or lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for many many months until I was healed. I got a call asking if I'd like to return to coffee (one of my last jobs while in culinary school) as Atomic Coffee in royal oak was opening and looking to fill positions. Before I knew it I was back behind the bar, slinging drinks, training employees, working with local food vendors, running their small kitchen and aiding in day to day operations.
Fast forward a year and I became pregnant with our first son Eli. I decided then and there, I was not going to come back from maternity leave, in fact I was never going to work for anyone else ever again. I officially started thyme & honey when Eli was 5 weeks old and I haven't looked back since, its been 3.5 years!
What Is The Best Advice You Can Give to A Woman Starting Her Business Venture?
Do it, just do it. It's going to be hard, you're going to fail, suck, thrive, cry, have lots of highs and lows. But the nurturing others and self fulfillment i feel outweighs all the other bad and hard days.
What Is Something Most People Don't Know About You?
I'm a lefty all day everyday and until the 6th grade I had such a bad stutter that I hardly spoke!
What Does Your Typical Day Look Like?
Thats a hard one to answer...I sadly don''t have a set schedule or typical day. But I can tell you that it ALWAYS starts with a homemade Americano with coconut creamer from Trader Joes, that is a non-negotiable for me! Ha!
Who Are Some Women That Inspire You? (Globally and Locally)
The one and only Julia Childs (she was and is the pioneer for women to enter the culinary industry and really make a mark for themselves. she also didn't give a flying fuck about what others though of her...she constantly made mistakes, even on live tv, but she was authentically herself 100% of the time and such a trailblazer for this industry that is still heavily dominated by males)
Hedley & Bennett owner: Ellen Bennett (she's a woman chef that saw a lack in the industry for comfortable and attainable chef clothing who started her own business to make quality MADE IN THE USA aprons and chef coats for chefs and home-cooks alike. I own 3 of her aprons and they've held up so well, quality made, and also feel very unique to my personal style. Beyond her trendy aprons, when the pandemic hit the US, Ellen saw a need for masks for the everyday person. So her headquarters quickly shifted gears and worked with a local California doctor to create masks with a slot for air-filters to be added and machine washable. With every mask that was purchased they also donated one to people in need. Such an amazing company with an owner who has a heart of gold.
Any and all female owned small businesses: this shit is hard. and you have to remember you're not doing this alone, and you're not doing anything new...someone before you has had the same problems, come across the same issues, had failures and successes similar to yours- and its so important to partner and support these woman around you. to empower each other and lean on because just like raising kids, it takes a village...you cannot do it all!
What Was One Huge Business Flop or Problem That You Had to Endure and How Did You Handle That?
Staff and not being able to say yes to everything. i am literally a one woman show, with help only for specific events. As my business grows I'm finding it difficult to say yes to multiple events in the same day as I cannot be in two places at once.
What Accomplishment Are You Most Proud Of?
This whole business and staying 100% authentic to myself and my visions. I try so hard to take inspiration from others but still make it my own, and give credit where credit is due. No one is reinventing the wheel here, but I feel like what is most important is staying true to yourself and crediting the ones that have inspired you and gotten you to where you are.
What Do You Do For Self Care?
Manicures and hair appointments, and good coffee... that is all your girl has time for lol. I've always said that even if I'm broke, I'll have my nails done. And that still stands true now, as much as I work with my hands, I like to have them look clean and orderly - especially for events. But the truth is, I'm a busy mom of two kids under 3, with a small business, a husband who is finishing up at CCS with a degree in clay car modeling, a house that has endless projects, a soul that wants to wonder and travel and spend time in the sun...so self care is very limited for me right now.
What Jobs Did You Work Before You Created Your Business? Tell Us Your Journey.
(kind of answered in the above question) Since the age of 16 I've worked in retail and the service industry (subway, target, gap, banana republic, j.crew, managed a tanning salon and spa, moved into culinary school and worked at Starbucks for 4 years, then atomic coffee, and then have been my own boss for the last 3.5 years)
Give Us Five Fun Facts About You!
I love gummy bears, pickles and olives.
Fresh cut flowers are always a must and I almost always have a bundle somewhere in my home.
I'm a charcuterie building queen that is lactose intolerant and has a random severe cheese allergy since having my youngest, Esmae. (the irony)
I'm a secret antique and vintage jewelry collector.
I absolutely love love love old school jeeps!
What Sign Are You? Are You Into Astrology?
I am a Leo, almost 100% true to the Leo facts except I'm a very humble person and don't love attention.
Do You Know Your Enneagram? If So, What Is It?
NO! I need to get on that!
What One Word Represents You Most?
What is Your Favorite The Posh Shop Co Products?