We had the good fortune of connecting with Marlene Faulkner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marlene, how do you think about risk?
Taking a risk that I believed would move me out of a comfort zone was always a scary thought. I can see where decisions I made in the past were always kept within boundaries that I thought would keep my family and I safe and away from situations that would have a dramatic impact on our lifestyle. This way of thinking really changed when my husband and I relocated to Texas from the NY Tristate area almost 5 years ago now. There’s no doubt now that the decision to move here is one of the most life changing for us. It has broadened my perspectives on life and career and moved me away from just working to live. This change helped me to connect with new opportunities, new friends and community, and a redefined family life. When it comes to my career, I’ve been able to evaluate my career and the direction I am headed in. So much so that after years of catering part-time, I recently left my corporate job to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. Definitely, something I’ve always dreamed of doing but fearful of making the jump.
What should our readers know about your business?
Knife & Faulk is a labor of love and passion for food and entertaining. It’s more than just catering and focuses on providing customers with true culinary experiences. The impact of COVID forced me to take a look at the brand and see how the business can be more impactful to the people we serve. I began offering virtual cooking classes to bring folks closer to me and my kitchen and to show the heart behind this brand. We’ve created some amazing dishes and I’ve been able to connect with some amazing people! The aspects that set Knife & Faulk apart is simply the sincere passion for connection that beyond just cooking for/with them. There’s a huge amount of attention to detail when it comes to creating menus and showcasing the meal and theme of any culinary experience. What excites me most is just being able to hear clients share their vision for what would later turn out to be one of their most memorable dining experiences even during cooking classes.
For many years, I’ve been a part-time entrepreneur while working full-time in healthcare. My husband and I are consistently managing schedules and responsibilities to make sure our family is taken care of. To finally be able to pursue entrepreneurship full-time and continue building the Knife & Faulk brand has been a goal for quite some time. In preparation for taking what I know is a huge risk especially during a pandemic, 2020 afforded many opportunities to evaluate how things are going and where things are headed. I’ve worked with consultants and several other business professionals that have been gracious in providing invaluable insight into how to not only manage successful catering operations but to also gauge how they impact personal and family life. Most importantly, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I have found myself inviting Him into all aspects of my life and this business more than ever. In all of this, I’ve learned so much about myself and the things that really add value to this business and the people it serves. The more challenging moments of business ownership are always met with overwhelming satisfaction once you see the smiles on the faces of those sincerely enjoying the services and being cared for in such an intimate way.
The important thing to know about Knife & Faulk is that launching this brand is a dream come true for my family and I. There is such a legacy that has been birthed all from having a true love to cook for and with some amazing people, learning all about who they are and how we can help make their occasions and events as memorable as possible, and sharing sincere passion and creativity in culinary art.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
COVID has changed a lot of how we frequent some of our favorite spots so part of our visit would have to be a few local parks such as the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano, TX and maybe a drive to Glen Rose, TX through the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. The Bishop Arts District is definitely one stop on this trip. It’s a place for creatives and those who love delicious eats. Next up would be the Dallas Farmers Market. Those who know me well know that I love not only fresh foods, but being able to try specialty items from other local farmers and businesses. It’s such a great way to support each other and try new things. The Star in Frisco is another great place to visit if you live in North Texas and may not want to drive into Downtown Dallas and depending on the time of year, it is a site to see! And…we’re definitely sitting down to have dinner at Harvest in downtown McKinney for some amazing farm to table eats. I am a foodie so it goes without saying that there are plenty of places to eat on my list. No doubt, the best time will be spent in our oversized backyard, under the string lights, and by the fire pit for some amazing Chef-inspired dishes of my own.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My grandmothers have always been a huge influence over my passion for cooking and entertaining. Unfortunately both are no longer with us, but there is not a time that I don’t think about them and sense their presence when I am whipping up a dish. I have so many memories that inspire me to just keep moving forward. If they were here, they would be so proud. And of course my husband, Rodney Faulkner. He is truly an amazing man and a strong support in the growth and success of Knife & Faulk. Besides, he’s the one that came up with the name of the business in the first place! Together, we love to entertain and bring people together.
Willie and Kim Photography