A Nurse, A Dentist, and a Chocolate Factory
Everyone asks how I came to own a “chocolate” factory, when I fact it is much more than that, and what did I know about it. On the cold January day that I bought it at auction, sight unseen, I knew that I loved ice cream and chocolate and that I believed in small town America and keeping business here.
My career started with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Creighton University, bound for Stanford University Hospital where I fulfilled a dream of doing heart and lung transplants with world class physicians and nurses. While there, I received my Master of Science in Nursing Administration from San Francisco State University then worked in other administrative positions in teaching hospitals and the private health care industry, from California to New York City. In between, I participated in medical trips to Ecuador and Nepal where logistics and resources were very challenged.
Leaving the big city, bright lights behind, I moved to Dunkirk, New York to marry David Banach, a dentist (Endodontist) who is also a retired Navy Captain of 30 years. We’ve been blessed with three children (aka: taste testers). Travel now is very symbiotic and takes us to either dental meetings or ice cream and baking meetings.
Little did I know that my years of doing internal and external hospital audits, staffing, writing policies and procedures, quality control checks, and purchasing replacement body parts would once again become vital and transferable skills with the purchase of Dunkirk Flavors, Inc. Surrounded by great long-term staff who helped me segue into the ice cream and baking industry, we are rebuilding and growing the quality company that it was originally founded on.
My answer to the original question would be very different today and yet the same. My nursing and motherhood career have been very rewarding and exciting, but building Dunkirk Flavors has been and continues to be extremely exciting and fun!
Bob is our Director of Operations, Research and Development, and helps oversee Quality Control. He was instrumental in the successful implementation of our Food Safety Program through BRC. His entire career has been dedicated to the food industry. It began in 1974 when he started working at the Kraft plant in Dunkirk where he worked in the Laboratory wearing many hats.
When that plant moved their operations elsewhere in 1986, Bob was recruited to started his second marathon with Dunkirk Flavors, which was previously known as Nog until 2010, and has been with us ever since. Bob has enthusiastically expanded our R&D with some new flavors and innovations. A native of Dunkirk and earned an Associate’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry at Jamestown Community College. He attended the Ice Cream short course at Penn State University and the Food Processing School at Cornell University. Bob continues to reside in Dunkirk with his wife, Carol.
When not at work or with his wife and children, Bob can be found on the golf course, following the Yankee baseball team, or travelling. Bob is the consummate Yankee fan, so send him your Yankee trivia along with ideas for new variegates, flavors, and fillings!