Catherine H. “Kay” Sullivan was my hero. We shared the passion of cookbooks, but Kay took it to a higher level. Kay’s love of the culinary arts developed into a cookbook business which she called “Kay’s Treasured Kookbook Kollection.” Kay loved opening up a cookbook and trying out a new recipe, but found equal pleasure in putting cookbooks into the hands of those who also loved cooking.
Many years ago, I read a local newspaper article about Kay’s business. I was thrilled to read that Kay could find any cookbook, old or new, or find a certain recipe that you lost. At the time, I was missing a few of the Pillsbury Bake-Off books for my collection. The article included Kay’s phone number, I called her, and made a new instant friend. We chatted then, and continued to chat over the next 20 years. I had found a cookbook soul mate. When I was selected to compete at my first Bake-Off, Kate came to my home to give me a handful of her business cards to take along. Many contestants love collecting the vintage Bake-Off books, and Kay could find them. The most difficult one to find was obviously the first Bake-Off cookbook from 1949. I would have been happy owning just one; Kay found me three. I now have three complete sets of the Bake-Off cookbooks thanks to Kay.
Kay continued to help the cookbook collectors of the world for 26 years, before her death at age 88 in 2006. Her recipe for success was cherishing her family and her passion for cookbooks. Kay’s life was all about food and sharing. What a sweet life.