MidwestRoots is a Chicago-based company that sells and supports handmade products from farmers and artisans across the country.
MidwestRoots was started in 2010, but the idea took root in 2008 when Kyle Schott, owner and founder, started volunteering with Chicago’s Green City Market. Here, she learned that all eggs do not taste alike, that there is nothing more exciting than the first asparagus of spring, and that many of the farmers she was meeting were overextended with the demands of running a small business. She also saw that customers wanted the products they purchased at the farmers market to be more readily available. Kyle saw an opportunity to connect great farms and artisans with an expanded customer base, increasing sales while providing excellent customer service and lightening the load for producers.
To this day, MidwestRoots still embodies Kyle's passion for artisan food while supporting amazing companies along the way. We’ve worked with over 20 different companies, helping to build their brands and businesses all the while connecting them with a deep network of retailers across the country.
Kyle Schott has over 11 years of experience working with companies to manage their sustainability impacts. She moved to Chicago to work for McDonald’s Corp, based in the nearby suburbs, and worked with them for nearly five years to help create cross functional initiatives to support the company’s environmental and corporate responsibility commitment. After McDonald’s she worked at a sustainability consultancy before leaving to take on MidwestRoots as a full time endeavor. She is passionate about connecting incredible artisan producers with an amazing network of stores across the country and building artisan brands through strategic sales and marketing plans.
Susanna is a New Englander at heart with some Midwest roots. She grew up in Vermont where she was spoiled by the easy access to local produce, plentiful farmers markets, and outstanding artisan cheese. She studied anthropology at Beloit College in Wisconsin and learned to love cheese curds (even the orange ones!). In 2010, Susanna moved to Chicago and joined the MidwestRoots team as Kyle’s first employee. In fall 2011, Susanna returned back to the East Coast to attend graduate school at Emerson College, but stayed involved in MidwestRoots as an artisan food demonstrator in the greater Boston area, as well as a member of MidwestRoots’ Advisory Board. Susanna returned to Chicago in 2013 and rejoined the MidwestRoots staff as Accounts Manager. In 2014 she transitioned to the role of Managing Director. Susanna currently lives in Portland, ME, heading up the MidwestRoots East office.
Fritz is a Georgia boy who spent enough time in the Midwest to lose his accent. The son of a horticulturalist and an anthropologist, he’s always had an affinity for the people who grow and create things. After years of working in the rock clubs of Athens, GA, he moved to Vermont to attend the New England Culinary Institute with an eye towards working in specialty food retail. A move to Chicago led to stints as a cheesemonger and retail manager at the Marion Street Cheese Market and Eataly Chicago. Now with MidwestRoots, he’s eager to help spread the word about some of his favorite producers.
Margot comes from a background in specialty retail and restaurant management. Her hometown is Austin. Despite the distance, her appetite for Longhorn football rivals her insatiable appetite for pie and raw oysters. She was a vegetarian for thirteen years before throwing caution to the wind; a buyers’ tour took her to Italy where she vowed to eat anything placed in front of her. At MidwestRoots, she's responsible for all the key behind-the-scenes tasks that keep the company running, as well as the development of our marketing materials.
Katie is a Chicago native who got her start after college working in marketing/advertising for a Chicago newspaper. After obsessively day-dreaming of farmers market sourced dinners and desserts to make at home after work between emails, data mining and power points (oh my) she decided to try her hand at working in the food industry. Working her way through positions from cashier to management, she has gained experience in restaurants, at grocery stores, in a bakery and even at a local food broker. She is thrilled to be a part of the MidwestRoots team and start working with some of those brands who have been crafting the aesthetic she’s been dreaming about. When she’s not at work, Katie can be found hanging with her rescue dog, Kicha or baking up a storm for her allergy friendly baking business. She is also the curator of content for the Slow Food Chicago blog - proof that you can take the girl out of the newspaper, but not the other way around.
Our Farmers Market & Demo Staffers
Megan grew up in Chicago, and loves food accordingly. After being introduced to Julia Child and M.F.K. Fisher, she became interested in the way food and stories are intertwined. After graduating from the University of Illinois, she worked on the campus' Sustainable Student Farm and found that she loved bringing people closer to their food and helping them create their own stories around food. Her favorite thing about introducing people to new products is creating connections between the makers of those products and their customers.
Kristen is a Chicago native. She earned a B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University and a M.A. in Urban Environmental Leadership from Lesley University. She uses these skills to coordinate a volunteer program that supports community-based sustainability service projects. She's served as a consultant for several small farming communities in western Ireland, helping them develop local tourism resources that complement their natural and heritage resources and way of life. In her free time, she’s working her way through the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving and raising strawberries and asparagus in her little backyard. She’s most interested in human interactions with the environment – like the food we eat and where it comes from! She’s proud to share the stories of MidwestRoots’ clients with the public to help customers become more connected to their food.
Abbey is originally from a small town in Ohio where everybody knows your name (and where your food comes from!) and has lived in Chicago for 8 years. By day she runs user support at a local tech startup and by night she practices yoga, meditation, and her ukulele. She has an M.A. in Women's & Gender Studies from DePaul University and a B.A. in Political Science & Philosophy at John Carroll University. She became interested in food (and the politics surrounding it) in her freshman year of college after reading Fast Food Nation and being disturbed by the lack of education & connection most people feel about the food they consume. She fervently believes in the mission of MidwestRoots to connect people to their food & to each other.
Maddie is a Chicago native and general culinary enthusiast with a deep love of Indian cuisine and a perfect slice of pie. For the past 10 years, she has been navigating her way through the food world, tackling everything from cheese mongering, to professional baking, blogging, managing restaurants, and even working as a personal chef. In her spare time, she can be found going for long walks around the city, listening to music, and rearranging her apartment for the 107th time.