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Our Takeaways from Happy Food Co-Founder Kiersten Firquain

Chef and Happy Food co-founder Kiersten Firquain met with the Teen Advisory Board to share her success as a chef and businesswoman. Since the company’s founding in 2015, Happy Food has provided retailers and local vendors with meal kits.

These meal kits provide consumers with fresh, healthy and easy-to-cook food – including one of their most popular dishes, ‘Bison Cheeseburger Quesadilla w/ Green Apple Guacamole’ (Yum!).

After Firquain came to the Teen Advisory Board meeting, we—The CommunityAmerica interns—started thinking about how her journey in the food industry can apply to our lives—even if we are not interested in a career as a chef or entrepreneur. Here are our top takeaways from the meeting. 

Anna Cowden, Marketing and Communications Intern:

“The overarching theme in Firquain’s talk was her resiliency to follow her passion of cooking, despite being pressured to stay in her ‘secure’ job as a District Manager for Chrysler. People are always going to say no, Firquain emphasized, but it was her drive to pursue risks that gave her the confidence to attend to culinary school. Journalism, like culinary, is not considered a “safe” career. An average of 1,000 newspaper jobs are lost a month, and the average journalist makes an annual salary of about 40K. These are not promising figures to a rising J-School freshman. However, like Firquain mentioned, it is imperative that we follow our passions, though it may seem risky to do so.”

Jennifer He, Innovation Lab Intern:

“Kiersten Firquain demonstrates the popular saying, ‘It is never too late to follow your dreams.’ Many sacrifice numerous years of their life before finding the courage to chase after their desires. Life is about triumph and tribulations. It takes time to discover your passions. Throughout elementary school, I wanted to be a professional figure skater. I spent hours each day skating at my local ice rink, perfecting my technique. Only later, during high school, would I realize my passion was problem-solving. From solving puzzles to answering glaciology questions, I enjoyed it all. Being an entrepreneur and following your passion has one thing in common: it is never too late to do either.”

Arzina Lakhani, CommunityAmerica Innovation Lab Intern:

“Many of the entrepreneurs I have talked to over this internship have said that to be successful you need the ‘X Factor.’ Kiersten was the first one to define that for us. She emphasized the importance of starting and believing in your unique product. I know that ideas come at the most unexpected times and there is an abundance of them; nevertheless, many people struggle with acting on their ideas. I learned from Kiersten that we just must get started. We must take that daunting risk, and be brave, because if we aren’t, then it won’t happen.”

We're thankful to Kiersten for providing valuable insight on the world of entrepreneurship. We greatly appreciate the wisdom and time of inspirational local business owners. 


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