Cara Schlarb
 
Director of Product Marketing
Cara Schlarb
Stats:
12 Yrs
with Tundra
9 Hrs
Longs Peak Climb
Vita-Mix Blender
Vita-Mix Blender
Favorite Kitchen Tool Shop Now

A Brief Q&A With Cara

Nickname: Princess Leia

Chef Status: That depends... I'm really good (and enjoy) baking treats and sweets; in fact, I used to surprise the employees here at Tundra with cupcakes for their birthday – that of course was when there was more like 30 of us here. I still like to bring in my latest baked treats, but now it's more around the holidays.

Outside of baking, my repertoire includes: slow roasted beef with basil parmesan, truffle mashed potatoes, orange braised carrots, parsnips, and chocolate cassis cake. However, this is only because of a cooking class I once took... meaning, I probably wouldn't be the first choice for top chef around here.

Cara Schlarb

Favorite Kitchen Tool: My Vita-Mix blender! Despite my preference to bake cakes and cookies, I rely on my blender to make the greenest and healthiest shakes you'd ever taste: triple berry antioxidant blend with spinach and kale are the way to go!

Favorite Recipe: My kids love my banana bread, but my personal favorite is amaretto chocolate cake... really, I don't think you could go wrong with anything that has at least 2 cups of sugar!

Who, or What Inspires You? I'm the type of person that's motivated by success. I have exceptionally high standards to be accomplished in everything that I do – at work, in life and as a parent. I don't want to let people down, which I believe has led me to be who I am today.

Above all, my 2 little girls inspire me though. How they view things with such curiosity, how they find magic in the simplest of things and how they are able to learn without passing judgment – this is what keeps me focused.

What Are You Afraid Of? A lot of things really. It's easy to say that failure is one of mine, but I have other small, quirky fears too; like I can't stand when vegetables mix with other foods I'm eating... I always take the lettuce off of sandwiches so it can be eaten separately, but salads are perfectly fine on their own!. I also can't stand driving in snow (I know, I live in Colorado; I just never got used to it), but the strangest fear is probably that of swimming pools (and water in general, really) – although, I think that relates back to watching Jaws when I was younger.

Most People Don't Know This, But I Once... Climbed Longs Peak in 9 hours! Some people don't even make it to the summit in that time frame!

My husband and I took the Keyhole Route, which is a 14 mile loop on a 14'er that is rated Class 3. The route is considered to be one of Colorado's more difficult and dangerous 14'er routes (an average of one person a year dies while trying to ascend the mountain). But there are a lot of rules to climbing this mountain (like being prepared for cold weather and incoming afternoon storms), and I spent the summer training for the climb. It was an amazing experience, but I don't think I'd do it again!

My Story: As legend goes, I've been with Tundra since I was 12 years old. Over the years, you can say that I've done my fair share of growing up here, which has lent itself to being pretty knowledgeable about the foodservice industry! True, some of it may be useless knowledge, like knowing that the first restaurant was rumored to start in Paris in 1765 and served up sheep's feet, but the majority of it has aided in me becoming who I am today.

I started here at Tundra in the warehouse as a "returns girl." Then moved on to accounting for a short time, before I spent some time in sales. I remember, very clearly, that Michael Lewis said I wouldn't cut it on the sales team. I eventually moved up to the product/marketing team and am now Director of Product Marketing (jack-of-all-trades really with strategy, procurement, marketing and product involvement).

I'm proud to say that I was able to grow with Tundra, and Michael eventually will admit that I was his favorite mis-read (meaning I did make the cut, just maybe not in sales!). I know the products we sell very well, and am often called to help in other departments because I can share my familiarity in the industry with others.

I live for the weekends though. I love spending time with my family and kids, but also enjoy wine festivals, bike riding (my 16 mile "check out" route) exercising, being outdoors and, occasionally, kickboxing.