Back to Basics Kitchen (BBK) is a culmination of the formative experiences of owner Susanna Minichiello and ever evolving as our team grows and learns.
Founded in its current form in 2011, BBK has allowed Susanna to alchemize her wide variety of education, nutritional trainings and cooking styles into a comprehensive whole.
She recognizes how food choices and life can get quickly complicated. She and the team always adhere to the basics—quality ingredients as the roots of nutrition and flavor-- adding love to that simple formula to cook up guaranteed eating pleasure that is also convenient.
Co-Founder with Chelsea Jowell Souza (now full time mom)
Susanna’s love of cooking began in an outdoors program in high school; food prepared on a tiny back country stove tasted impossibly delicious.
She finds food that comes from healthy, respected land and animals as the most nourishing and most tasty. She loves the sense of connection in knowing where her food comes from and who grows it.
Susanna is a graduate of the Natural Chef Program at Bauman College, a course that specialized in cooking to support health.
Other sources of inspiration include her work with Weston A. Price based Three Stone Hearth Community Supported Kitchen in Berkeley, California and the Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant in Boulder, CO (yes, for those familiar with both, it’s quite a range of nutritional philosophy and cooking styles- which is why the experiences are so valuable!).
Developing recipes that her mother, diagnosed with Celiac disease, can enjoy with family and friends without anyone noticing they are gluten-free has been some of Susanna’s most enjoyable training.
She then took this to the next level when she herself was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Using a combination of the SCD and GAPS diets and going to the root of her distress in psychotherapy, Susanna has kept her symptoms at bay for a decade.
When not working, you can find Susanna these days hanging with her baby girl, Lark, her chihuahua (Henry) and her husband (Noah). Maybe when Lark gets a bit older she'll get back to singing and playing music for her studies the Music for Transition and Healing program, practicing yoga, and rock climbing.
Melissa joined us serendipitously summer 2020, reaching out just when Susanna found out she was pregnant and feeling the first trimester tiredness full on! Not to mention the pandemic craziness... Then she ran the whole operation while Susanna was on maternity leave earlier 2021.
In addition to cooking and keeping all the details organized in the kitchen and with customers, Melissa also has a degree in nutrition and esthetics. She has a deep appreciation for the difference quality food makes for all aspects of health and beauty! She came to CO from North Carolina and she's wasting no time getting out to the mountains and up 14er's.
Stacey started as an intern in January 2021 and is now our powerhouse prep queen as well as sous chef. She's also an ultrarunner, and all that fitness is a major plus in a commercial kitchen. We try and get her arm workouts in with pot lifting and chopping at least a hundred pounds of veggies each week. Somehow she makes time to run, care for her son, and take two huge dogs each on their own separate walk - plus entertain two cats!
Amy blessed our crew since 2012 and took on many roles. Most recently she dove into the kitchen side of the business helping with everything from dishes to prep and packaging. Amy left in June of 2021 to pursue a degree and career in accounting.
Amy is a Jill of All Trades. She has three girls (1 in college, 2 in braces). On most weekends, Amy is on the pitch as a soccer referee, site coordinator, and referee mentor. She is a devout Christian and member of The Labyrinth Society and PFLAG. Her adventures include conquering Longs Peak (4th attempt) this summer and learning to play the drums. Her mottos are both "going the extra mile" and "in my defense, I was left unsupervised."
Andy showed up as a last minute delivery driver when COVID-19 struck and turned into our main prep and cooking help at the kitchen when Chef Tim decided working during COVID was not for him.
He picked up the ways of the commercial kitchen quickly and became our resident Paleo Baker. Andy burned the cookies way less often than Susanna, so that was a major plus! He also prepped the majority of the vegetables, does dishes, santizes jars and is learning large scale cooking. Thank goodness we had someone to jump right in!
Andy has lots of skills outside of the kitchen. Susanna knows Andy as a talented tabla (Indian drum) player and multi-instrumentalist musician through her now husband, Noah. Andy teaches percussion lessons, makes and sells cajons (a type of drum), and plays as a professional musician for multiple bands and studio recording sessions.
With BBK since early 2013, Bri started as our first culinary student extern from Escoffier Culinary School and since became the center of the kitchen. With menus that change every week and recipes that change every season and with every different batch of local produce, she's was master at thinking on her feet and using her kitchen intuition to make every meal consistently delicious.
Her conversation skills are second to none, and her enthusiastic story telling kept us rolling every day. And there's no lack of subject matter with her two dogs, two cats, chickens and garden to keep her on her toes.
And she's proved herself an amazing baker despite her cake aversion since she took over our Paleo bakery.
She also stepped into another role as a local source of produce from her amazing home garden. She can no longer eat store bought eggs after becoming a chicken mama.