Small Giants Community

January 30, 2022

Growing with Purpose Podcast: The Sweet Side of Leadership with Kate McCrea

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GWPP Kate McCrea


On this episode of the Growing With Purpose podcast, Paul Spiegelman talks with Kate McCrea, CEO and “Chief Caramel Visionary” of McCrea’s, a quality confectioner. Kate is also a longstanding member of the Small Giants Community. 

At a glance, Kate’s road may be a very windy one. From being an avid dancer as a child, to training as a scientist and living in places like remote Alaska to conduct fieldwork, to now being at the helm of a rapidly growing candy company, Kate has worn a lot of hats in her life. But to her, these transitions haven’t been huge leaps, but rather, stepping stones.

After Kate’s husband, Jason, a fellow scientist, lost his job in 2008, he started making caramel in his kitchen, working with sugar molecules to stabilize the candy rather than using preservatives. Before long, it turned into a family business.

“It’s easy to look back now, and see we had this itch to step into the business world to be makers,” says Kate. “Once Jason had this amazing formulation… it was not a huge step to taking it to markets.”

In this episode, listen as Kate discusses with Paul how she and her husband successfully run a business together, how their scientist background prepared them to have an innovation mindset in their company, and how recently creating a human-centric vision for McCrea’s has gotten her excited for their future. 


Listen to Kate’s story below:


Show Notes: 

  • “Candy is really sugar chemistry.”
  • “I was certainly influenced by my training as a scientist and my fieldwork.”
  • “It’s not necessarily a good idea to grow at all costs.”
  • “Find those people who are successfully doing what you want to do, and reach out to them.”

Book that Inspired Kate:
Braiding Sweetgrass 
by Robin Hall Kimmerer


Want to connect with and learn from leaders like Kate? Enquire about our mentorship program, Sounding Board.


About Small Giants Community

Our Purpose is to identify, connect and develop purpose-driven leaders. The Small Giants Community is a designated L3C organization, a hybrid between a for-profit and a nonprofit entity that prioritizes mission and social purpose. Passionate, purposeful business leaders from around the world come to us to train and develop future leaders in their organizations, connect with like-hearted peers, and learn how to run a values-driven business. Whether you’re a budding leader who wants to grow or a founder/CEO looking for new business best friends, there’s a place for you here.