Occupation: Owner, Something Savory bakery
Family: Married to Mike Zorio
Children: Daughter Emily Zorio, 33, and son, John Zorio, 25; two grandchildren, Drew, 11, and Dawson, 6 months.
Karen Zorio enjoys scrapbooking and reading but when she’s not baking and cooking, she and her husband, Mike, love to travel, especially to the beach. Karen came by her desire to be a beach bum honestly. She grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“I grew up on the beach,” she said. “That was my home. It’s different now than it used to be. It has changed, and the beaches are so commercialized now. When I grew up it was just my neighborhood. That was where we went school and church and where we played. Now it’s more of a vacation place. It used to be my playground.”
Zorio moved to this area when her father, Charles Holliday, who worked with the U.S. Postal Service, transferred to here 40 years ago.
“I’m former respiratory therapist and was between jobs working as a bank teller when I met Mike at Blount National Bank where Preservation Plaza is now,” Zorio said. More recently, Zorio has operated Something Savory catering out of her home for six years. She was considering quitting the business to spend more time with her family when she contacted the owner of the bakery where Something Savory is now located to see if the baker would like to buy Zorio’s equipment.
That’s when the owner explained she wanted to sell and asked if Zorio wanted to move her operation into the bakery’s High Street storefront.
“My first reaction was, ‘No,’ and after I thought it out I thought it might be a good opportunity because I love to bake. I spent a lot of time praying about it and thought maybe this was the right time do this,” Zorio says. “It was really a step of faith. It was risky. I felt if this was what God wants me to do, don’t worry about it, just do it. That’s my testimony in nutshell.”
Zorio already had all the baking equipment, so it was simply a matter of moving it in and opening for business.
“It has been great having a storefront where I actually meet people. I love to bake and cook,” she says. “I never get tired of it. I see being here a long time.”
Here is Karen Zorio:
Who are you most like, your mother or father and why?
Both of my parents are deceased. My family was very close and I grew up in a loving, caring home. My mother always put others first and believed it was more blessed to give than to receive and I want to think that I am more like her and that I have woven that philosophy into my life and passed it on to my family.”
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“In the old Andy Griffith shows when Barney Fife says, ‘Nip it, just Nip it.’”
What are you guilty of?
“Eating too many cookies.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“I love our ‘old house.’ We sold it and then a couple of years later, bought it back again. How crazy is that?”
What are you currently reading?
‘”The Life of David’ Bible study by Beth Moore.”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“Perhaps Martha Stewart. She’s definitely made her mark. Martha Stewart went through a lot and perhaps she got singled out, maybe unfairly. How many do what she did? But she did wrong, paid for it and came back stronger than ever. I think she’s influenced a lot of people. Just because you make a mistake, you can turn it around and make something good out of it. She had cooking classes in prison. She made a mistake but we all make mistakes. She got a second chance and look what she did. I’m not a big fan of hers but look at her story.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“I’ve had a few of those moments, but while catering a large event, a tablecloth caught on fire while I was lighting a candle. It was in a 100-year-old church too, so it was pretty embarrassing.”
If you only had one week to live, what would you do and why?
“I think I would like to take an adventure such as sky-diving. I’ve always wanted to try it and this would probably be a good time. Hey, if the parachute didn’t open, well, it just wouldn’t matter, would it?”
What is the one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Patient. I rarely get angry or upset. I don’t ever get mad because I really practice trying to walk in love toward others. Getting mad is going to hurt me. If I learn to forgive and let things go, that’s a positive for me. I rarely lose it. Life is too short to go around mad at people.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“Have more self-discipline. Perhaps I’d spend time at the gym and not find so many excuses. I can find a million excuses for not going to the gym.”
What is your passion?
“Cooking, reading and spending time with my family.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My paternal grandmother, Alice Holliday. She lived in Richmond, Ind., and raised her 17 children. My dad was her youngest son. I would have loved to spend more time with her. She kept a diary from her childhood until her death at age 91. She was a remarkable woman.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?
“Perhaps, Sally Field. She can be funny, sad and happy. It would be a little comedy, a little tragedy. That’s life.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I don’t know where I’d go, maybe back to my high school days in the early ’70s. I might have been a better student. I’d like a second shot at it and see what’s on the other side.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“When I was a child, she used to say, ‘When at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’”
In the workplace, would you rather be powerful or popular?
“I believe that being respected and well-liked by your co-workers or employees is empowering in itself.”
Who is your hero?
“I have several, but at the top of my list, is my brother, John Holliday. He is a wonderful role-model. In the face of adversity, he always makes the right choice. John has had lot of obstacles but always seems to persevere and make the right choices.”
Are you a cat or dog person?
“I just love cats; don’t tell my dog.”
What is your theme song that best describes you?
“Keep on the Sunny Side.”