You What?

with Cathy Brand-Beere, President, DeBrand Fine Chocolates
Jeffrey Crane
You What?

Do you have a nickname? Cat 

Describe yourself in three words. Passionate, loyal and fun-loving

In what city did you grow up? Fort Wayne

What book has had the greatest impact on you? From Good To Great, Jim Collins

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to create things. Particularly chocolates but I would have enjoyed creating other types of things as well. I wanted to be a business person. In 3rd grade, my teacher was surprised that when choosing parts for a play, I wanted to be the old business man. 

What is your favorite part of your job? Creating, expanding and developing (developing the business and helping the staff develop). I’m not a fan of status quo and I like improving things. 

What do you actually do at your job? Every day is different. Some days I’m working on new projects and/or products, other days I’m meeting with operations and marketing managers to make sure things are running smoothly and coming up with better ways to grow the business, etc…I always have to eat chocolate; for business, not pleasure, of course. 

What do you love most about Fort Wayne? It has everything that a bigger city has, just not as much of everything. It has a fabulous work force, low cost of living; you can use the money that you save to travel to other places. The more I travel, the more I appreciate Fort Wayne as my home!

What was your first job? Making and selling chokers/necklaces to my friends in 3rd grade, then doing the same with candies/chocolates and eventually wedding cakes for people when I was in high school. The first job I had where I worked for someone else was for my parents at Country Kitchen. 

Who is your hero? My late-father who had a passion for business and creativity, and my mother who had the ability to juggle so many things while always doing so much for others.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to cast as you? A few people have told me that I remind them of Kelly Ripa, so that would be fine because she is cuter, younger, more outgoing, thinner and more successful than me.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be? The Life that Chocolate Built 

What would you choose as your last meal? Chips and salsa followed by chocolate dipped ice cream

What three items would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island (other than food and water)? Cell phone with internet, charger and a place to charge it.

How often do you exercise? When I am behaving well, about every day. When I am not behaving well, about every week. 

What profession would you never try? Medical. I can’t even hardly think about someone being hurt or bloody. 

Where will you go on your next vacation? Miami and then possibly Serbia and then Mexico. 

If you could give your 15 year-old self advice, what would it be? Those gut feelings that you have really do mean something so don’t ignore them.

What’s in your refrigerator right now? Sparkling water, yogurt and artisan cheese.

What’s your biggest fear? The ocean.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Many years ago my father told me that in business you have to try different things. Not everything will work but that’s okay because not everything has to work.  

What is the best gift you have ever been given? My husband, Tim, randomly buys things for me such as dresses, bathing suits, shirts, gym shoes, flowers, etc. He has great taste and knows how to pick what is just right for me. So, it is not any one gift that is my favorite; my favorite gift is my husband, who is so thoughtful and good to me that he takes the time to pick out nice surprises for me when I least expect them.

What is your favorite...

Vacation spot? Los Cabos or Saint Martin

Holiday? Why? Christmas. It’s a time for family, Christ’s birth, giving, warm cozy feelings and the biggest chocolate sales of the year!

Drink? Sparking water; I try not to drink my calories. And I drink a “ridiculous” mug of green tea every day while I’m at work which seems to go well with the numerous pieces of chocolate that I eat on a daily basis.

Downtown locale? Skyline DeBrand, of course. Also Fortezza, Dash In, The Golden, Pint & Slice and much more!

Fast Food? Not so much fast food but my favorite restaurants are Mexican and Italian. I am
a vegetarian.

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