Watch out for the limitations you put on yourself—they can be just as confining as the ones other people put on you.
These words are the 11th ingredient of success spoken by Michele Hoskins, founder of Michele’s Foods in Chicago. Michele Foods is a 20 year old, multimillion-dollar manufacturer and distributor of pancake syrups and related products to such retail giants as Safeway, Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Winn-Dixie.
Michele Hoskins started the business while going through a divorce with three children and a part-time teaching job. The basis is a pancake syrup recipe created by America Washington, her great-great-grandmother, who was born a slave in the 1860s. America Washington worked for a family who did not like molasses on their pancakes, so she made up a syrup from churned butter, cream, and honey. The recipe became her family’s secret to be passed, for unknown reasons, to only the third daughter from each generation. Although Hoskins was not a third daughter of her generation, she persuaded her mother to let her “hold’ the recipe for her granddaughter.
In her biography, Sweet Expectations, Hoskins provides the details of how she developed the business out of the belief that handing her daughters a business would be, as she puts it, “a better legacy than a recipe.”
Hoskins has expanded the syrup line from Original Honey Crème to include Butter Pecan, Maple Delicious, and Miss Lindsey’s Country Style Syrup (Butter Pecan, Maple, Pancake Waffle, and Sugar Free Country Style syrup). She has also added a low-carbohydrate line of the syrups and Low Carb Pancake Mix and Michele’s Classic Gourmet Pancake Mix.