A Dream Realized...
My name is Susan O’Brien and I have been passionate about food and the role it plays in connecting people since I started hosting Thanksgiving dinners when I was 15 years old.
My parents immigrated to this country with the dream to make a better life for themselves and their children. My father, an engineer and machinist, eventually became a business owner who grew his machining company from a small enterprise with just 2 employees (himself and his partner) to a very successful company with over 40 skilled machinists as employees. My mother, when not helping out at my father’s shop, took care of all of us and made sure we were loved and fed. She never learned to speak English as well as my father or her American-born kids but the language she spoke most fluently was food and food was a love language for her. I remember how warmly she welcomed everyone into our home and it seemed everyone was happy to speak food.
As I look back on my own journey, I can see clearly how using food to show love and connect with others has been a clear thread running through it all. This is a gift I received from my mother. This dream of opening a kitchen boutique that connects with the community and inspires people to “speak food” as a way to connect with their loved ones began as I started to reflect on my life and what has made it meaningful. As much as it has been a privilege for me to work as a psychologist and touch so many lives in that way, I believe this dream of creating a warm, inviting space that inspires people to slow down and reconnect with those important in their lives is similar to the work I have been doing. Hopefully it will allow me to reach more people with the message that I often keep coming back to in my work and in my life: we all need to feel connected, valued and allowed to show our true authentic self.
My dream is to create a space where the community can gather to celebrate a love of food and become inspired to create beautiful things in their own kitchens. Lots of important things happen at the kitchen table and I believe connection and community are created when we gather around food, whether it is a holiday meal, dinner party, a quick family weeknight meal fit in between piano lessons and basketball practice, or the opportunity to reconnect over an afterschool snack. When others join in and we are all making something together, that’s a special feeling I want to help people create in their own homes, whether they are new to cooking or old pros.