Kelly Postal - Alumni Profile

Kelly PostalKelly Postal, 28, of Fenton, is owner and personal chef of Taste. Smile. Repeat, a personal chef and catering business that Postal launched in 2008 and which services Oakland, Genessee and Livingston counties. A native of Hartland, Mich., she graduated from Hartland High School. After receiving her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Central Michigan University, she decided to pursue her culinary dreams at the Culinary Studies Institute of Oakland Community College, where she received an Associate’s in Culinary Arts. It was there that she became a Certified Culinarian under the American Culinary Federation and started down the road of running her own business using her business and culinary degrees.

Why did you choose OCC?
After doing online research, meeting with some instructors and getting a tour of the campus, I made the decision to attend OCC over Schoolcraft College (the other school I was considering).

What is your fondest memory of OCC?
Being a part of two dinners each semester put on by the entire Culinary program. Even when I was just washing dishes during one of the dinners it was such a great event for everyone to come together with one common goal—to give guests a great night of delicious food, great service and a relaxing evening.

What surprised you the most about OCC?
I was surprised by how much one-on-one attention you get from the instructors. Going into the program I knew the classes were going to be small but it wasn't until I actually went through it that I realized just how personal it really was.  I am still in touch with many of the instructors and really value the relationships I made while attending OCC.

How did attending OCC impact your life?
OCC created the opportunity for me to start the business that I am still running now, six years later. I received my business degree from CMU but without the culinary program I would have never been able to start my personal chef business.

Was there a favorite faculty or staff member who had a strong, positive impact on your life?
I am very fond of Chef Sue Baier.  I met her during my initial campus visit and then had her for several courses throughout the program.  She was one of the kindest, most caring instructors I have ever had.  To this day she still stays in touch and sends me referrals for my business.  I am very thankful for that relationship.

What has been your most rewarding professional, or personal, experience since graduating?
Other than marrying the man of my dreams with whom I now run my business, I would have to say it has been starting my personal chef business. Running my own company has taught me more than I ever thought possible. It has had its obstacles but by overcoming them on my own with what I learned during my six years of college has given me a great sense of accomplishment.

What advice would you give OCC graduates about school and life after school?
Follow your dreams and love what you do. My work hours are just like the next person’s but I don't even feel like I am working every day because I love what I do. You have the power to be happy, so do it!

What would you like for people to know about OCC?
I just hope people know how absolutely wonderful the culinary program at OCC is. The program offered one-on-one attention and a variety of courses that equipped me with everything I needed to know to survive the culinary world after college. They kept the traditional French techniques in mind while adapting to the ever-changing trends of the culinary world.