Meet Elizabeth Zellner from WowChow Snacks

Tell us about your products.

WowChow produces an artisanal version of a favorite childhood treat using high quality, locally sourced ingredients. Right now my mom and I make each batch by hand in a shared kitchen in Highland Park. If you would have told me at 17 that I would love working with my mom, I would have said you were crazy! My favorite flavor is hazelnut raspberry, probably because of the bright, bold taste of pure ground hazelnut and freeze dried raspberry powder.

Tell us about your connection to Chicago.

I source as many ingredients as I can from the greater Chicago area, including Blommer chocolate and Futter's Nut Butters.

What do you love about your business.

I came from healthcare compliance and food is much more fun! I love interacting with customers and seeing their faces light up when they try WowChow.

Tell us about your design inspiration.

I am inspired by nature. I love being able to trace all my ingredients back to the plants they came from.

Share a favorite quote, a mantra. bud'laska. 

No one is going to show up and give you the life you want to live. You have to make it for yourself.

Surprise us with your secret talent, fact, etc. 

My undergraduate degree was in Arabic and I lived in Syria before the war.

What's the most common question you get about your business?

Why this? Answer: because I love it!

Name 3 local makers/brands that inspire you and why.

I love all the food vendors because the community is so welcoming, supportive and joyous. And if you want to know what I really covet, it's Swaby's aesthetic. I'm inspired by the rebelliousness.

What is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped you and your business? 

Don't get ready, just get started! Being an entrepreneur is about pulling a lot of pieces together on the fly.

Is there something else you would like to share?

How has your involvement with Chicago Booth and the Hatchery contributed to your venture? My involvement with each of those awesome institutions has been instrumental in getting me to where I am today. Through Booth I have been able to take a number of classes in entrepreneurship and test my concepts in a safe environment. The Hatchery has been phenomenal in providing resources and connections for the food industry. I can't wait to see their new location!

To discover more about WowChow, click www.wowchowsnacks.com

kendra chaplin