Garner Foods has always had a great relationship with the chefs and restaurants in the Midwest region of the United States. With amazing foodie cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, there are a lot of dishes to dash with the signature flavor of Texas Pete®! We caught up with our Midwest Foodservice Regional Sales Manager, Kate Sickrey, to learn more about her career and her passion for the area she lives and works.
Brashears: When did you begin working for Garner Foods?
Kate: I started in January of 2018 as the Regional Sales Manager for the Midwest region foodservice partnerships.
Brashears: What attracted you to the Garner Foods organization?
Kate: I had worked for a food broker prior to joining the team and interacted with Dan Plunkett. I was really impressed with his leadership and the consistently quality products that Garner Foods brought to the foodservice market.
Having worked for years in the food industry, I really was impressed by the quality of the marketing available through the Garner Foods foodservice website and the sales resources they provided. Other brands don’t necessarily offer that level of support and information to their sales and distribution partners.
Brashears: What do you love about working in the food industry?
Kate: I love connecting with people from all backgrounds—social, economic, etc. Everyone eats and most people love to talk about their favorite dining experiences or family recipes.
Brashears: What are your favorite ways to unwind and recharge?
Kate: I’m a people person. I love connecting with my kids (21 and 23) and my family. I’m pretty active and love being outside.
Brashears: What’s your favorite way to help or inspire other professionals around you?
Kate: If I see a new female professional in the industry, I try and go out of my way to introduce myself and make myself available to help them succeed. I remember how overwhelmed I felt as a young professional in our industry, and I just want to help other women feel like there are others that want to see them grow and succeed. We can many times focus on being competitive and guarded, but I want to make sure we don’t lose our ability to help one another.
Brashears: What is your favorite food or cuisine?
Kate: I could live off of pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches, haha. My favorite toppings are pineapple, green olive, red onion, and artichoke in an old school original NY style thick pizza.
Brashears: What are your top 3 favorite places to travel?
Kate: I love Chicago. It’s always been such a cool town. We have family property in northern Michigan on the river, so that’s always a sweet time for memories and great family outings.
Brashears: What is a professional goal you have for 2021?
Kate: Just to pick up where 2019 left off before 2020 happened. My target was Chicagoland, and I’m ready to get back to it. I miss meeting with my clients and catching up. We are setting our goals, and I’m excited to start engaging with our foodservice partners to look ahead with more optimism.
Brashears: What was the last Garner Foods product you used?
Kate: Sabor! by Texas Pete® Mexican-Style Hot Sauce. I used it on some broccoli, cheese and rice dish I made. It’s my favorite. I prefer it in my Bloody Marys over the original Texas Pete®.
Brashears: When you were in Middle School, what did you want to be?
Kate: My mom was a registered nurse, and I was probably wanting to follow in her footsteps. She’s always been someone I’ve very much admired and respected.
Brashears: If you were going to write a book or some other piece of media, what would it be about?
Kate: I’d probably write on single parenting and family dynamics especially with older kids.
Brashears: What are you binge-watching right now?
Kate: The Office is my go-to to unwind. I’m thinking about jumping in and re-watching Breaking Bad.
Brashears: What is your favorite musical artist?
Kate: I’m going to say Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson, but I love all kinds of music.
By David Brashears, Public Relations Director