About the Owners

Owners Kara and Kim's friendship began nearly 20 years ago while working as phone girls for a local pizza parlor. While the years following their first jobs found them going in opposite directions, they realized that after chasing down their own professional careers and starting families, they could team up to use the skills they learned to give back to the community in a meaningful and positive way by opening, Farmhouse Academy. 

Kara has a Bachelor's degree in Corporate Communications from Northern Illinois University. She has spent time working in the hospitality industry, food service industry, consumer packaged goods and most recently as a stay-at-home mom.  She previously ran a baking business with her mom that provided a variety of baked goods for several local farmer's markets, as well as built stunning sweet tables for weddings and other special events. She's learned most of what she knows about cooking and baking from her mom and grandma and is excited to pass these skills onto our eager students. 

Kim has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Governor's State University and followed her love of event planning into the hospitality world, working for several high-end hotels. After starting a family of her own, she realized that she longed for a more balanced work/family life and is eager to put her skills and knowledge into running our sales and marketing division, as well as managing our special events. 


Kara Fanelli, Owner, Executive Chef

Kim Mahlum, Owner, Sales & Marketing