When your passion is brought to life, sometimes it’s hard to look back and see how far you have come. It took a lot of work and passion, but Christie Collins finally made it happen.
Collins graduated from Conestoga College in 2006 from the Food and Beverage Management Program, where she learned the basics and overall skills needed to be in the hospitality industry. As a child, Collins used to cook for her siblings, which is where her love of cooking began, but her love only grew stronger once she reached high school.
“As we got into high school, this is where I started to hear ‘Christie, you make the best nachos,'” said Collins. “Whether that was because everyone else was too lazy to get up and make a snack, or I actually did make the best snacks is still up for debate.”
Collins has worked numerous jobs including busser, food expeditor, server, supervisor, bartender, manager, wine director and office manager.
“While attending high school, I started working part time in a restaurant that a couple of my cousins worked at,” she said. “I continued to be the go-to snack maker for my friend group but I didn’t really start cooking full on until I moved out for the first time.”
Collins launched her business in March 2020 via Instagram, where she showed off her skills in the kitchen, demonstrating and promoting healthy eating habits. Her website (Grow. Prep. Create.) launched a year later in April 2021.
Collins was diagnosed with Melanoma, a form of skin cancer, approximately two and a half years ago, which sparked her healthy eating habits even more.
Collins began working with multiple recipes of her own, which she has incorporated into her website to expand her brand. These recipes include various dishes such as pastas, complete meals, and side dishes. She has even created a ‘Recipe Vault’ for members of her website to access for more information regarding her various recipes.
Collins had now partnered with Public Kitchen and Bar located on Victoria St. in Kitchener. This is her first collaboration, where recipes from both Public and Collins are featured in an ebook collaboration titled Public at Home.
“Christie is an excellent cook with a balanced approach,” Public said on their social media.
Collins plans for the future include more collaborations with other restaurants and more involvement in the community while promoting healthy eating. She also hopes anyone struggling with starting a business like hers looks at the aspects of starting a business first before jumping right in.
“I wouldn’t be concerned with ‘climbing the ladder’ right away,” said Collins. “Get as much experience as you can working in different style establishments. You never know what style of hospitality workplace may suit you the best.”