Brother-and-sister duo Francy Deskin and Frank Connor—nicknamed Frik and Frak by their parents—turned their hobby into Frik & Frak Market, and the Hickory Flat community has welcomed it with open arms and watering mouths. Why? With one taste, customers appreciate Frik & Frak’s talents for preparing authentic Italian sauces and tasty pastries.
Francy and Frank were youngsters when Camille Marciante, their mother’s good friend, taught them how to make authentic Italian spaghetti sauce. Those lessons sparked their lifelong passion.
While Frank experimented with various sauce recipes, Francy graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and joined Frank in their new venture with her baking expertise. “Cooking matters to us,” Francy states, “and with our name on the label, we wanted to do it right.”
Making authentic Italian pasta sauces in small batches and selling at local farmers markets helped their sauce business grow, Frank explains. Francy agrees. “We gave free samples at the farmers markets and had face-to-face conversations with our customers.” The taste alone created a 75 percent capture-rate of customers.
Frank comments, “I’ve seen customers actually cry when they taste our pasta sauce because they say it reminds them of their mother’s and grandmother’s cooking.” It’s because of the natural ingredients, he emphasizes. “We use real San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy and fresh basil, garlic, onion, shallots, and parsley. Those fresh ingredients make all the difference.”
Francy adds, “Every ingredient that goes into our pasta sauces can be pronounced, and no sugar or preservatives are added. Those fresh ingredients speak to our authenticity. Five-star in a jar is what we are all about.”
Once customers experience Frik & Frak sauce, they appreciate the extraordinary taste and come back to purchase sauces again and again. Francy laughs, relating that customers tell them daily that their families thoroughly enjoy meals prepared with Frik & Frak sauces.
Expanding the Dream
As the business grew, Frank discovered a parcel of commercial land for sale in Hickory Flat. The area appealed to him because Cherokee County, he says, “is so beautiful, the people are so nice, and the southern vibe is great.”
When he and Francy first strolled through the building, they envisioned what their market could be and discussed where to set up the kitchen and how to place the pastry market in the front. Rustic farm influences and art from local artist Brandon Luther of Southern Bit decorate the market and make it feel like a country home where customers feel welcomed.
One day an unexpected opportunity occurred. “A woman came in with fresh blackberries and asked if we could use them,” Francy recalls. “There were so many berries that for the next week I baked blackberry-orange muffins for the market.” That event led to Frik & Frak partnering with local farmers to purchase fresh produce, pecans, and fruit for pastry dishes, jams, and soups that Francy prepared. “When the bounty presents itself, we are here for it,” Francy says proudly. In a defining touch, the freshly baked pastries are served on real china plates—an elegant way to present the delectable sweets. Frik & Frak Market welcomes customers to come in, sit down, and take the time to enjoy the food. “And do so mindfully,” Francy adds.
Just the Beginning
Francy and Frank’s passion for genuineness is in everything they do. “It matters to us. Our team is highly creative. Everyone is on board with the same level of commitment for real food,” Francy stresses.
“We’re just beginning to scratch the surface,” Frank adds. They have rolled out a new sandwich-based lunch menu. He explains, “By focusing on one sandwich per day, we’re going to make lunches so good that Frik & Frak’s will become a daily destination.”
The sibling combo also plans to open the area to celebratory events, obtain a liquor license, and establish other locations. “We’re an unfolding blossom,” Francy states.
The growth of the Frik & Frak brand continues. Its artisanal pasta sauces are now available in Whole Foods, Sprouts, and some Publix stores. Frank laughs as he remembers receiving the company’s first commercial contract and admits, “That was a bottle-popping moment.”
Francy and Frank’s parents, Betty and Frank Connor—for whom Frances “Francy” Connor Deskin and Francis “Frank” Connor, III, are named—are proud of what the youngest two of their six children have accomplished. Betty’s Chicken & Dumplings and Frank’s Chili, among other dishes, are customer favorites in the market. The parents appreciate how their recipes carry forward to bring the meaningful and sentimental impact of family love and kitchen traditions.
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