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Nancy baked her first cake at 9 years old, and almost set the house on fire. Her mother told her never to cook again, but it was too late: her passion for all things culinary had already taken hold and has become a life long obsession. Fortunately, she stopped burning cakes and started learning how to sauté, flambé, and create the perfect soufflés. She read everything she could about food and cooking, and practiced all the time.. Eventually, she began taking annual ‘pilgrimages’ to France, ‘eating her way through the French countryside’ and working alongside top chefs at the renowned Les Freres Troisgros in Roanne.
For years, Nancy’s love of cooking mostly benefited her family and friends. One evening, a friend came over and Nancy prepared a steak and homemade chutney. Her friend raved, and told her she should sell it. Something clicked, and 9 months later in late 2006, the Gracious Gourmet was born with 6 products, including the chutney that ‘started it all’, which is now our Dried Fruit Chutney.
Nancy says she’s learned a lot since she started her business. She laughs about the first time she ordered apples in a large quantity for her first production run — 75 pounds worth. As she looked into the huge barrel, she realized she’d be peeling and coring apples all night.
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