Marion, Iowa (KCRG) – Cathy Lockwood was laid off from her hotel management job in August, so she remodeled her basement and became her own boss.
“And I was thinking well what is recession proof? Everybody needs food,” Lockwood said.
While on unemployment, Lockwood started her business, Shelf 2 Table, which launched online in December.
“I was familiar with freeze-dried food, so I was kind of thinking well maybe that’s something that I could do.”
She was confident in her business venture, even though there was risk. “And then I thought with food if something doesn’t work out I can still eat the product,” Lockwood said.
Her business is focused on making freeze-dried food, which she says can last up to 25 years.
“We even have powdered eggs. Those are great to take camping,” Lockwood showed TV-9. “I like being able to provide a large option of ingredients so they can create what they want.”
Lockwood’s goal is to inspire more people to be self-reliant. “When the derecho hit and we lost our electricity for 13 days, it’s just a reminder you lost everything in your freezer and fridge. And having more shelf-stable food makes sense,” Lockwood said.
Most food will be in the dryer for 24 to 48 hours. Lockwood said pineapple takes 60 hours. She emphasized that freeze-drying is different than dehydrating.
“The neat thing about freeze-drying over dehydrating is with dehydrating most people do just fruits and vegetables, but with freeze drying you can do almost anything,” she said.
As her business continues to grow, Lockwood will think about moving into a larger space and hiring help, but for now, she’s focused on online sales and deliveries in Marion.
She said opening a business in the middle of a pandemic was a learning curve, but the journey has been fun. “I mean this could be for anybody who doesn’t have a large fridge or freezer space.”
For information on Shelf 2 Table and Lockwood’s range of shelf-stable products, you can visit her website.
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