Annette Kratka ~ El Meze Restaurant
Creative Design | Strategic Business Development | Operational Management
What began as a passion and an undeniable talent in the field of art and design for Annette Kratka, developed into a highly successful business career. Utilizing her intuitive competencies not only in the creative world, but also in marketing and the operational arenas, Kratka has generated more than $25 million in sales to date. Her track record emphasizes astute skills in conceptualizing, strategic planning and project management, organizational leadership and staff mentoring.
In 1984, Kratka’s career as a package/display designer began at Enesco Corporation, a $450 million gift and collectible company headquartered in Itasca, Illinois. Based on her high-performance and consistent promotions, within 10 years Kratka earned the title of Executive Creative Director followed by a coveted corporate Vice-President position. Leading numerous business units comprised of creative services, advertising, branding/licensed properties, collector clubs, catalog, sales/marketing, Internet/EDI, trade show services and events, Kratka was responsible for a multi-million budget and ultimately reduced operational costs by $500,000 in just one year.
Kratka has also held similar Vice-President positions in 2001 with United Design, Noble Oklahoma and most recently with Joan Baker Designs, San Clemente, California, where she made significant positive impacts on productivity, increased sales, cost-effectiveness and staff mentoring.
Then, arose a turning point for Kratka. With a life-long passion for creative cookery and fine dining, Kratka made a bold move to go beyond just her love of cooking and explore the creative world of cuisine—first hand. In 2007 Kratka relocated to Taos, New Mexico and accepted a general manager position for Graham’s Grille, a newly launched restaurant and catering business. Combining the success of her executive career path with the creative and dynamic food industry, Kratka discovered she could have her cake and eat it too!
With her distinctive creative vision, talent for success and passion for fine food and wine, Kratka partnered with Fred Muller in January ’08 as the general manager and dessert chef of El Meze Restaurant which resides in the restored 1847 El Torreon Hacienda.