Before opening Grunow’s Kitchen in June 2019, Patricia Grunow was an advocate for healthy alternative meals and had always wanted her own business. Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi, Patricia has lived on the Peninsula for thirty-five years. Patricia taught chemistry and algebra at York High School for five years full time, and five years part-time as she helped care for her sister who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.
After taking some time off, the teacher became the student, and in 2012 Patricia graduated from the Culinary Institute of Virginia. Patricia and her sister cooked for their dad who required a low sodium and low potassium diet.
A friend with Celiac’s disease inspired the focus on gluten-free foods, as well as foods that tend to be allergens. Patricia felt that low processed food should be easier to obtain for the general public regardless of restrictive diets or allergies. The idea for a gluten-free, tree nut-free, and low-processed restaurant was born. Her keen interest in gardening fueled the original concept to use her produce and herbs in the creation of the menu. Soon she will be a certified dietary manager or CDM (yes, she is still in school) further enhancing her dream to bring her wealth of knowledge to the community. The garden allows the menu to change with each new season, ensuring guests a novel and distinctive experience each time they visit Grunow’s Kitchen.
Patricia says her greatest business success is providing comfort food with healthy alternatives, and assisting customers who need help planning restrictive diets, or just want information on good healthy living practices which fits with their mission to “educate the community on the benefits of organic, fresh ingredients, and the importance of healthy choices to better our lifestyles, improve our health, and sharpen our minds.” It’s not always an easy mission. “Sometimes it’s difficult to get the word out – to break the stereotype that healthy isn’t delicious – it is!” Patricia connects to the community through social media, local online groups, and of course, face to face!
Like any new business, Patricia faced challenges in the beginning. Hiring quality people with similar values is at the top of the list. She recommends patience and perseverance! She advises new business owners to “find a balance between being open to different views and still hold true to yourself – your dreams, values and goals.” The best part of owning her own business is having total freedom to be as creative as she wants, as well as opportunities for personal and professional growth.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, they are open for carryout and curbside only, Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Their normal operating hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Patricia Grunow, Owner/Operator
4336 George Washington Memorial Highway
Yorktown, VA 23692