Here, Fran answers our nosy inquiring questions:
How did you come to be part of the AllSpice crew?
My friend and neighbor, Denise, introduced me to Alex for a fun job.
What did you do before you joined the staff?
Well, I am the mother of two grown sons, and had a career as the handbag buyer for Younkers Department Store.
What’s your official title, and what do you do at the store?
It’s an unofficial title, but I think people consider me the “Store Mom,” which is nice. I help keep track of details like sales projections. I help customers find the right ingredient for their cooking projects and for gifts. I water the lemon tree.
Really, I do a little bit of everything, as long as it’s not too high on the shelves, or too heavy.
What’s your favorite ingredient in the store (or your Top Five, if necessary)?
I love the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, the Manzanillo EVOO, and Saigon Cinnamon.
When you cook, what are your specialties?
Cold spiced shrimp (see our recipe for Fran’s Fantastic Shrimp), and homemade oatmeal raisin cookies.
When someone else does the cooking, what’s your favorite dish?
I love risotto — but really, I love everything when someone else cooks for me.
Do you have a food that is a guilty pleasure?
Chocolate, and ice cream.
Is there any food or ingredient that you absolutely *won’t* eat?
What do you do for fun, when you’re not having fun at AllSpice?
I love doing things with my grandchildren, and I enjoy taking care of my yard and garden. Most of all, I have a great time hanging out with Murphy, my Basset hound.