Shirley Kautman’s friends always considered her a great cook. In fact, she found herself frequently providing her co-workers and friends with spices and recipes for use at home. Kautman was a full-time bank employee when she started Country Home Creations (CHC) from her kitchen in the early '80s.
Today, CHC is a global business offering more than 100 products, including soups, breads, dips, desserts and a host of recipes. The Made in Flint & Genesee company has garnered several awards over the years including the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Woman-owned Business Award in 2013. CHC also received Country Business magazine’s first vendor of the year award in 2000.
CHC’s New York Cheesecake mix has been featured on QVC and her recipes have received media coverage in the Flint and Detroit markets. More than 5,000 retailers currently carry CHC products. The company currently employs 20 in a 10,000 square foot facility in Flint.
Kautman, who also serves as supervisor for Atlas Township, says programs like Made in Flint & Genesee help people in Genesee County learn more about businesses that are based in the region.
“I have always been a proponent of buying local and Made in Flint & Genesee provides a great way to let people know who is creating and making things in the area,” said Kautman. “When you have employees from the community you are supporting the local economy. Buying products made in the region is good for the economy and it just makes sense. I think it’s important to help local businesses succeed.”
Businesses that make, assemble and sell their own products in Flint and Genesee County are eligible to join the Made in Flint and Genesee campaign. Participants will appear on the campaign’s page on the Chamber’s website and have access to the Made in Flint and Genesee logo, which is designed to help consumers identify products and services that are locally produced. To be eligible to register, businesses must be located in Genesee County, produce and sell a consumer product and be members of the Chamber.
To find out more about CHC and Kautman’s recipes visit www.countryhomecreations.com. Interested in joining the Made in Flint & Genesee campaign or learning about more local companies? Then visit www.flintandgenesee.org/develop/made-in/.