Cook provides service to busy families
SAC CITY – It seems people just don’t have the time it takes to spend in the kitchen to prepare a gourmet or homemade recipe, so companies offering mixes to help ease the time constraints are becoming popular.
One particular company meeting the demands of this need is a small town-based business, started by a busy mom that can appreciate serving her family good food that takes little time to prepare.
Amanda Lynch, owner of the Beer Bread Co. LLC, said she has always loved to cook and experiment with different foods.
It was this love for experimenting and throwing different kinds of food together that eventually led to the opening of her own business in fall 2004 and becoming officially licensed in 2005.
Lynch, along with friend Janet Austin, started the business together, but now Austin helps out as an employee whenever she can, after they tried a beer bread mix.
“We liked beer bread, and we wanted to do something with it and make it our own and everything just started from there,” said Lynch. “We saw what people were attracted to and the convenience of foods. I knew what I liked and I tried to make a product I like.”
The pair sold the beer bread mix at the beginning with their first sales at a local craft show.
“I only took 100 bags and we were sold out in the first hour and a half,” said Lynch. “I was taken by surprise and just took orders for the rest of the day and everything blossomed from there.”
Three years ago, Lynch took her business from her home into an existing building in Sac City, which was previously known as Philip’s Auto Repair.
Currently, in addition to her beer bread mix, Lynch offers several dip mixes, which include zesty garlic, BLT dip, fiesta dip, zippy horseradish dip, spinach dip, sweet and smokey spinach dip, Hot Stuff! Dip.
There are also cheese spread mixes with flavors including cranberry walnut, pineapple pecan and Oh Sweet Pepper! cheese spread mix; and a cinnaberry crunch cheese ball.
It’s the versatility of her mixes that Lynch says makes them even more beneficial.
“For example, our fiesta dip can also be put into chili, meatballs and coleslaw,” said Lynch. “I’m continuing to offer new recipes and coming up with recipe ideas.”
Many recipes and products can be found on the company’s Web site at www.BeerBreadCompany.com or by calling (712) 662-7577.
Mixes can also be purchased at many gift shops, hair salons and even food lockers and various shows held throughout the Midwest.
“I’m looking at selling other places so I can be here producing and not spending all of my time away at shows,” said Lynch. “That’s my goal, to be here and have more products for sale at stores.”
Lynch knows if it wasn’t for her employees and support circle, her company wouldn’t be near the caliber of a success it is today.
“If I didn’t have a mom to help with the kids and friends and family, I couldn’t do this,” she said.
In addition to Austin, Lynch also employs a longtime friend, Amy Claire, in addition to other family and friends that lend a helping hand.
Lynch credited Shirley Phillips, executive director for Sac Economic and Tourism Development, has being a tremendous help to getting the business up and running.
“I go to Shirley a lot,” said Lynch. “She has the knowledge and the contacts. I’m still learning and Shirley helps out a lot.”
Previously employed in the health care field, Lynch admits she doesn’t know much about running a business, but in order to help out with this, attended an entrepreneurial program.
“I learned about the little things, especially branding and marketing and how important that is,” said Lynch.
Lynch added that this is something she hopes to continue to see grow and that someday will become more of a family affair when her five daughters grow old enough to help out.
“Each year it gets better and to see it succeed like this and keep going, I just need to decide where we should go from here,” said Lynch. “We make everything ourselves right here in Iowa and I hope to do this for the rest of my life.”
Bruschetta – beer
Prepared beer bread mix, cut into 13-14 slices, then cut each slice into three to four pieces
10-12 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic (fresh, not dried)
1 tablespoon dried sweet basil
Sugar and salt to taste
Place bread pieces on cookie sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place under broiler until bread is at least medium brown, turn each piece once and return to broiler. Mix tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and sugar together. Place mixture into small serving dish and serve with toasted bread.
It can be served right away or stored for later use. If not using immediately, let toasted bread cool and then place it in air-tight container.
Optional: top fresh toasted bread with tomato mixture, sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese and return it to broiler just long enough to melt cheese and serve right away.
Note: You will want the bread to be more done rather than not done enough. The crispier the better. Using older bread works better than using fresh bread, since the older the baked bread gets, the heavier it gets thus making it easier to cut into thinner slices; but fresh bread will work fine.
16 ounces of frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 package BLT dip mix
3/4 cup mayonnaise
Combine all ingredients and chill for at least 30 minutes.
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cans black beans
1 can chili beans
1 can corn, drained
1 can green chilies
1 can tomato juice
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 cup sugar
3 packages fiesta dip mix
1 cup sour cream
Brown ground beef with peppers and onions, drain any excess grease. Add beans, corn,
tomatoes and juice, sugar, chili powder and 2 packages of dip mix.
Stir and simmer for a minimum of 1 hour. Mix the other package of dip mix with 1 cup of sour cream.
Add one spoonful to each bowl of chili before serving.
1 pineapple pecan cheese spread mix
1 rotisserie chicken, diced
Mayonnaise to taste
Prepare cheese spread as directed on package by adding the pineapple, cream cheese and sour cream. Add chicken and mix well. Thin out with desired amount of mayonnaise. Chill for at least two hours before serving.
Contact Kriss Nelson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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