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Former Ballet Dancer Becomes Cheftrepreneur

Jan 26, 2021

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Katerina Kazantza has always followed her passion in life, and it shows in her outstanding, healthy and quality products. Founder of Katerina’s Pantry, which produces additive-free crackers, the company is now almost three years old, but its soul and inspiration began over 20 years ago in her homeland of Greece. Here is where she started cooking and baking, as a young girl with her grandmother making traditional meals and desserts – as the brand’s slogan accurately states: “Made in Ireland, Inspired by Crete.” Her customs have stayed with her in throughout her life’s journey’s. Now a thriving entrepreneur in Ireland, whose mission is paving the way for healthy and innovative products in the global food industry.

“Everything About What we do it is Based in Greek Cuisine and Tradition”

In 2009 Kazantza arrived in the United Kingdom to follow her dream of becoming a professional dancer. However, while in London she also continued to follow her second calling and passion of becoming a chef and decided to strengthen her cooking and baking skills, taking classes and focusing on utilizing healthier ingredients. “I started using alternative flours which are a healthier alternative than the ones used in traditional Greek recipes” she stated. Kazantza quickly discovered that gluten-free and preservative free options were difficult to find. Inspired by her own commitment to follow a healthy lifestyle, from the encouragement of family and friends and also driven by those struggling with dietary restrictions, she started a home baking business, comprised of gluten-free desserts and snacks that local health food stores and markets stocked on their shelves. Utilizing her dedication to athletic training, love of food and skilled academic background in chemistry, she was able to create products that are not only healthy, but also taste good. As her baking business grew, Kazantza set her sights on focusing on perfecting a couple outstanding products that were close to her heart; as she set off on her next adventure, settling eight years later in County Cork, Ireland.

“Without Ireland, Katerina’s Pantry Would Not exist”

Kazantza credits her connection with the Irish culture and beauty as a major force in helping her establish Katerina’s Pantry, noting that, “the people’s support has all factored into the creation of Katerina’s Pantry.” Today her products consist of two additive-free crackers, that include her secret ingredient imported from her childhood island of Crete, extra virgin olive oil. The savoury flaxseed rounds are prepared in a gluten-free facility in County Cork and come in two popular flavors: olive oil and smoked paprika. These delicious biscuits can be enjoyed with your favorite cheeses, spreads and dips throughout the day, as a healthy alternative to processed snacks. You can also enjoy these products and Katerina’s delicious meals right in your own home, through her offering as a private chef, an experience during today’s challenging situation is a perfect alternative dining experience, keeping you both healthy and safe.

“Today’s Million Dollar Questions”

Covid-19 has impacted all industries, worldwide and everyone is asking: “How do we survive and navigate through this challenging time?” Katrina’s Pantry has met this challenge by pivoting; instituting new strategies to continue to grow and succeed. During this uncertain time, Kazantza’a advice is that: “It’s all about adapting.” She goes on to explain “we use to do a lot of exhibitions, especially in the UK, and we also to did a lot of in store tastings.” Unfortunately, these selling and promotional opportunities are no longer available; or offered at a much smaller capacity. Now Katerina’s Pantry has moved to focus on e-commerce, selling online, allowing her customers to safely and easily still order her products. She adds, “the hospitality industry has also suffered,” yet another sales vehicle she counted on to showcase her products. As a result, she refocused her strategic marketing plan and moved to offering a more personal experience - catering and cooking at private small parties, following regulations, while continuing to spread the word about Katerina Pantry’s products, with a personal touch.

Katerina’s Pantry’s Next Food Adventure

Sheer fortitude, a high standard of quality and honest baking ethic, all prevail at Katerina’s Pantry. Kazantza plans to soon introduce three delicious and healthy dips, to her product line. She optimistically says, “as soon as we get back to some normality – these new dips are ready to go.” Again, holding true to her strong Greek roots and traditional recipes, these products will be created using the finest ingredients and will be available in the following Greek flavors: baked pepper and feta, smoked aubergine, and tzatziki. Today we can find Katerina’s Pantry products online at http://katerinaspantry.com/ with sights on expanding from Ireland to China and beyond. When not baking, you can find Kazantza practicing ballet and cooking for fun, her true passions that have yielded the skills and training necessary to help her continue to flourish and thrive in her professional career, as an outstanding “Chefprenuer.”

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