Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiara Austin.
Kiara, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
If I’m going to be honest, I start fresh daily. The most prominent lesson that I’ve learned so far from the food industry is every day bringing a new challenge. The solutions found yesterday might not necessarily work today and that keeps me on my toes. I was a curious child, following my mother wherever she went and I asked the most questions in the kitchen. As I grew older, I got more involved, and food in-turn was no longer just a necessity. Then, my mom got sick.
One Sunday afternoon, I found myself worried about how life would go. So, I quietly cleaned a whole chicken, seasoning it the way my mother taught me and I made my first pot of rice. From that moment, I knew culinary school would provide a distraction while still staying on track. I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in ’17, and I’ve been spinning ice cream as a creative outlet ever since.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My road has been far from smooth, but I’ve always had support nearby. Struggles are different for everyone, and not conforming has been a major one for me. My advice to other women would be to stick by your morals and be a better you today, than the day before. Knowing yourself, what you would like to accomplish in life and boundaries will help with your overall alignment on and off the clock. Mental health is just as important as physical health and you need a clean mind to stay focused.
Please tell us about Kronicles.
I make ice cream. In the comfort of my kitchen, I bring the flavors that run through my mind frequently to be enjoyed in one creamy bite. Most of my time is spent in a kitchen, flowing to the hums of pots, pans and everything that goes on during service. One night, I told my best friend that I wanted to start my own business. Kronicles, a place where you can get quality ice cream and confections, that one day will be infused with cannabis. Kronicles is my way of bridging the gap from where I came from, where I am now and the future.
Most of my flavors are derived from my Caribbean upbringing in New York City. I understood from a young age the importance of culture, but outside of my neighborhood, I barely have seen the food that represented me. With my knowledge from culinary school, I wanted to bring the flavors that brings my family and I joy to the masses. The first flavor I put to the test was my Platano Maduro. A sweet plantain custard with swirls of dulce de leche. It was received with smiles and shared memories. A lot of things make me proud, but a satisfied customer, who tastes the love in each bite is all I need to keep going.
Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
Women are creeping up the ladder in the food industry today. It’s so empowering to see. I can count on both hands the number of women I witness lead a kitchen through service, and I’m one myself. Honestly, with the current social climate my co-workers and I pay more attention to our words and how they affect those around us. We build upon each other’s strengths knowing we’ll get further as a team. For others the barrier could be trust or comfort in the way things used to be. Luckily for me I’ve been surrounded by strong women all my life, so any barrier that tries to hold me back will be broken.
- Mason jar (8oz) $6
- Mason jar (16oz) $12
- Quarts $15+
- Phone: 678-829-2589
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kron_icles/
Kiara Austin, Jazmine Hodgson