Smart Woman: Secret ingredients of success

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TAMPA, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Starting a business can be challenging, but a newly divorced single mom did it and now she’s biting into the benefits. Edibles by Ethel shares some of her secret ingredients.

Blending, chopping, slicing, and stirring -it’s all in a day’s work for Ethel Pila.

“I think it’s just been in my blood since I was little,” says Edibles by Ethel Owner Ethel Pila.

15 years ago the newly divorced single mother started from scratch. Now she’s concocted a kosher catering company that’s bringing home the dough. Edibles by Ethel grosses about a quarter of a million dollars each year.

Pila explains that, “It’s physically demanding, it’s mentally demanding, and often times it seems like when it rains it pours.”

She works seven days a week and has about 60 part-time employees. Jamie Krischner is one of her taste testers.

“I really think she has a unique knack of putting together a menu,” says customer Jamie Krischner.

This is Ethel’s wheat berry and arugula salad. She says the kernel of wheat minus the hull is packed full of vitamin E and magnesium. So how can you do this at home? After cooking the wheat berries combine them with celery, pecans, dried cherries, sweet potatoes, and beets. Add some scallions and parsley. Throw in the arugula along with some olive oil and lemon juice.

“Lemon is a great way to brighten up just about anything,” Pila tells Ivanhoe.

She says the wheat berry is packed with protein and low in calories.

Pila says, “I’m trying to talk clients into getting away from useless carbs and starches.”

She relies on word of mouth and after one bite, her clients are eager to spread the word.

Ethel suggests before starting a business, one must do outreach and talk to those in the industry. Get tips so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.



• 1 1/2 cups hard wheat berries

• 1 sweet potato, roasted, cooled and diced

• 1 medium beet, roasted, cooled and diced.

• 1/2 cup tart dried cherries or Craisins, chopped

• 3/4 cup chopped pecans

• 2 stalks celery, finely chopped

• 1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped

• 1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley leaves

• 4 tablespoons olive oil

• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• Arugula, 1-2 cups to taste


In a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water to come 2 inches over the wheat berries. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender. Drain and let cool. Toast the pecans in a medium dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, or 2 to 3 minutes. Roast the sweet potato and beet until easily pierced with a knife. Cool and dice. In a large bowl, combine the wheat berries, pecans, celery, dried cherries, diced sweet potato and beet, scallions, parsley, arugula, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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