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Recipe for Success: Katie Collier’s Path to Culinary Excellence (ep. 586)

Katie Collier

Katie Collier of Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria joins John O’Leary on the the Live Inspired Podcast to discuss recovery, entrepreneurship… and pizza!

Katie Collier is a renowned chef, entrepreneur and true visionary behind the award-winning Italian concept restaurant known as Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria.

At 24 years old, Katie fearlessly embarked on a mission to introduce handcrafted, artisanal Neapolitan pizza to the vibrant city and her hometown of St. Louis. And yet personally, addiction had taken hold of her life, threatening to shatter her dreams and everything she had built. Feeling broken and alone, Katie reached out for help, determined to reclaim her life and reignite the fire within her.

Today, Katie is celebrating more than 12 years of sobriety, three successful Katie’s Pizza and Pasta locations and a booming national frozen pizza delivery service.

Join us as Katie shares her incredible journey to recovery, the pivotal role her family has played in her success and her unwavering commitment to creating moments of joy and connection through her culinary creations and warm hospitality.

My friends, this conversation is reminder of the transformative power of second chances and that no matter how dire the circumstances, the best is yet to come.

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  • Katie began working for her aunt and restauranteur Zoe Robinson at 15 years old, eventually dropping out of high school.
  • Working in salvage, Katie saw her dad’s incredible work ethic and what the freedom of working for yourself can do for your spirit.
  • Culinary Inspiration: As a professional artist, Katie’s mom got the opportunity to run Washington University’s study abroad program in Florence, Italy. In accompanying her, Katie’s passion for food and hospitality blossomed.
  • After being introduced to her addiction, Katie struggled for more than a decade. In 2011, she checked herself into a halfway house and began her journey of healing.
  • Leading by example: In an effort to combat the heavy use of substances in the industry, all Katie’s Pizza and Pasta locations are dry-campuses for employees.
  • During the early stages of recovery, Katie would walk 10-2o miles a day seeing it as a form of meditation and an opportunity to be alone with her thoughts.
  • Because of her dad’s honestly and vulnerability, Katie shares her story of sobriety.
  • Giveback Tuesday: Each month, a different local nonprofit is selected to receive 100% of the profits made on the fourth Tuesday of that month at one of Katie’s locations. Since 2014, the program has donated over $350,000 to St. Louis-based charities
  • In 15 years, Katie’s Pizza and Pasta has three locations, a national frozen pizza delivery service and more than 300 employees. Learn more about Katie’ Pizza and Pasta here.

Are you hungry for more inspiring lessons from business-minded individuals?

You’ll love our Entrepreneur playlist. Discover invaluable insights and inspiring lessons from  former Starbuck’s president Howard Behar, Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph, Hint Water CEO Kara Goldin… and more. Listen to the Entrepreneur playlist now.


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  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. I was the most confident as a child.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. The ashes of my father and Rolando.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. My dad. I need one more good conversation with him.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. Everything is going to be okay.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Stop pretending to be someone else.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. She lived her life with truth and love and passion.