Biscotti & Hockey: Wife, Mother and Mompreneur Kathy Favro

What do biscotti and hockey have in common? A New Jersey mompreneur.

Westfield resident and hockey mom Kathy Favro noticed a lack of true Italian Biscotti in the marketplace. After baking her own creations at her husband's restaurant and finding her treats in high demand, Kathy started Fine Ingredients, a mail-order line of handmade artisan biscotti and cookies made with fine imported Italian ingredients. With clientele ranging from spas & salons, corporations to wedding planners, this hockey-mompreneur has been baking yummy gourmet treats for over 15 years, allowing her to support her son’s passion for hockey while being a stay at home mom for him.

I asked Kathy to share with us a little history behind her mouth-watering business and to offer some inspiration to other moms looking to launch their own career from home.

Q: Tell me more about your company and the name. I’m thinking “Ooooo Yummy” would be hard to brand, right?

A: The name is simple and reflects my company’s overriding concern: fine ingredients, including imported Belgium chocolate, Italian flavorings, German sweet cream butter, and the freshest nuts available. Of course, my recipes make these ingredients sing in harmony, but only the finest ingredients go into my cookies

Q: I loved your chocolate dipped biscotti and savored them knowing that I was eating natural and quality ingredients. How do your artisan biscotti and cookies differ from other varieties?

A: My signature biscotti, chocolate chocolate dipped, is my best seller because we do not spare the ingredients. It is not a chocolate coated biscotti, where a thin layer of poor quality chocolate coats the bottom of a biscotti. Our chocolate chocolate dipped biscotti is hand-dipped in covertured Belgium semi-sweet chocolate and set to cool and harden without any additives or artificial flavors. This dedication to every cookie, to every recipe, and to all flavors represents the pride of Fine Ingredients, Inc.

Q: Your biscotti are like a work of art! So what inspired you to take your obvious baking talent to the next level and launch your own company?

A: As the mother of a young child when I founded Fine Ingredients, Inc., I was dedicated to fulfilling my obligations as parent yet continuing my passion: baking. After several years of restaurant baking, I decided to start Fine Ingredients, Inc. in order to be with my son as he grew and to serve biscotti and chocolate chip cookies to my devoted clientele from the restaurant business.

Q: As a fellow work-at-home mom who started her own company, I am fortunate to be able to be home with my daughter. Tell me more about how important it was for you to be home with your son.

A: It was the reason I started Fine Ingredients. With my husband in the restaurant business, a sector known for 18 hour days and 7-day weeks, I needed to provide my son with my presence, stability, and care. Fine Ingredients allowed me to do this, while simultaneously continuing my passion for baking and to provide my son with the extra income he needed to pursue his passions in school and in hockey. Without my son, I know that I would have left the restaurant business eventually, but I don’t know if I would have had the courage and inspiration to start Fine Ingredients.

Q: Oh yes, the hockey career. I remember high school classmates who played. It was like a part-time job for them and their parents. Not to mention the costs involved! But it is a passion and it’s wonderful when families can support their children’s interests.

A: Hockey was my son’s passion, and as a result, became mine. Even though I founded Fine Ingredients to be with my son, I never used it as a reason to not be at his games. Ask any hockey mom and they will tell you what life is like: endless road trips, stress, and a steady drain on the pocketbook. Nevertheless, I was always there as my son progressed with hockey, from youth hockey, to prep school, to Division 1.

Q: You definitely can’t put a price on the happiness of your children and the quality time you can spend with them. But how did your business help relieve the financial expectations of hockey parents?

My business undoubtedly enabled me to provide the extra money he needed to achieve his dreams. So long as he had the passion and the drive, my husband and I did everything to enable him to pursue those dreams. Fine Ingredients helped us pay for everything: equipment, tuition fees, nights in hotels across the county, and now his Ivy League education. We undoubtedly struggled at times to make ends meet, but as my son dedicated himself to his passion, I dedicated myself to my business, because without it, I would not have been able to give him the opportunities he worked so hard for.

Q: That passion is something a lot of moms can relate to. What advice can you give to moms who want to transition from stay-at-home mom to work-at-home moms with their own business?

A: Follow your passion. So long as you love what you do, you will find a way to make it work. For me, my passion was baking and my son. I was able to use baking to support him, despite my husband’s long hours and my son’s demanding game. I have certainly made mistakes in getting my company off of the ground, but I never let this discourage me because I knew that this business was something that I wanted to do and I knew what I as doing it for. Follow your passion, follow your drive, and you will surprise yourself with what you are capable of.

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