I had the best advice I have ever received from anyone this year about the Jericho Kitchen and it was harsh! Apparently my face fell, literally, on hearing it.
It was a freezing cold afternoon in February this year and I was sitting in my own venue in Jericho – feeling out of this world about the fact that I had managed to secure a venue. I was however, in retrospect, blinded by this single fact to extent that I wasn’t seeing the reality of all!
It was a makeshift venue really – freezing cold, drinking money in rent and bills, no parking and most importantly numbers were dropping. Did I see this? No not at all! I guess maybe as I have said before you have to be a little mad to set up your own company and clearly a little bit mad had manifested into completely bonkers!
This person, who will remain nameless but he knows who he is (THANK YOU!), thankfully hit me hard with the reality stick…”you are bloody lucky that you got this far but get the hell out of here – this is a hobby not a business”. We said goodbye and I switched the lights off and walked home and mentally walked away from the venue and the ideal of setting up a cookery school in Jericho from that point on.
I escaped the venue at the end of March (it was a long 6 weeks!) and returned to the familiar surroundings of the cookery school in Warborough. With its all new kitchen, underfloor heating, acre garden with endless herbs and fruit hanging from the trees and, as I found out, something high on people’s want list – parking!
I absolutely love running my own business but it is a rollercoaster of crash and burn, laughter and tears. Each and every event and emotion brings you closer to feeling that little bit more confident about your product and how to obtain that elusive successful business.
Despite fears along the way this year of will Brexit and increasing food prices, to name a few, affect my business it seems I have managed to become almost snake like in shedding skins to renew and adapt to different external factors that I have no control over.
I absolutely love this challenge and am extremely grateful that what I do seems to be appealing to more and more people. With classes selling out in November and December, a flurry of corporate events and a bumper year of vouchers purchased for those budding chefs out there, I move into 2018 with so much excitement and anticipation of all those new experiences that will come my way.
So why the title of this blog? Well in November this year – said ‘slayer of non-reality bubbles’ called me up and after a long chat said to me…. “Emma, you have done so well this year – this hobby is now turning into a business”…. YES….. so a full circle and what a journey. I will never be able to thank this man enough.
With 5 classes already sold out for January and February 2018 and bookings coming in everyday even during the supposedly dead zone between Christmas and New Year I know that I am finally reaching the very grown up position of owner of my very own, ever growing cookery school.
There are lots of new things bubbling under that will be finalised next month including beer tastings with The Cotswold Brew Co. http://cotswoldbrewco.uk/ a new class formatted completely for those total beginner cooks out there and with the help of Daisy Watt (Leith’s trained and mother of 4 – the best training me thinks!) we are bringing you traditional and seasonal British food that we have forgotten we had and children’s classes!
So we hope that if you have visited us before that you will return in 2018 and if you still haven’t tried one of our classes that you might change you mind and book that class you have been thinking that you really should try!
As the sun sets on 2017 and I sit here thinking of all those amazing memories that have been created this year I hope that 2018 brings everyone just one thing that makes them totally happy – we all deserve that! Thank you and much love Emma x
Classes with spaces still available for January and February
Pasta Making with Ursula Ferrigno – 3 spaces
Olive Oil Tasting with Malcolm Gilmour – 4 spaces
French Bistro with Vince Langton – 8 spaces
Madly Mexican with Amelia Kaye – 7 spaces
Introduction to Scandinavian Cusine with Christian Orner – 8 spaces
Flavours of the Medina with Ghalid Assyb – 3 spaces
Tapas with Carolina Catala-Fortuny – 5 spaces
Vietnamese Wraps & Rolls with Vy Pettit – 9 spaces
Dairy Fements with Anna Drozdova – 8 spaces