Whilst herding my boys around a very cold and blustery park this morning we bumped into a lady who had come to a workshop some time ago. Her boy and my boy are now at school together and headed off to the skatepark to compare scooter skills and we dutifully trudged behind them making idle, sleepy morning chit cat through chattering teeth. ‘Still cooking?’ she asked. I told her yes, more than ever now both kids were at school and I had less of a childcare shuffle to contend with. ‘Do you enjoy it?’ was the next question. I found it slightly odd that someone would even contemplate I didn’t and then realised just how lucky I am. My hellish commute means wandering down the stairs or a small trip to a local hall and my colleagues well….
Need I say more? You can be in the foulest of moods when the doorbell rings and then lots of excited little feet tipper tapper in, asking what we’re cooking, and their enthusiasm is contagious. ‘But don’t you fancy a change? Aren’t you bored?’ True, sometimes I need a new challenge but there are plenty of those to create to build the business, and as for bored…nope! Though every class in a given week makes the same recipe, each class is so very different and to me what we’re making is an aside to the little personalities I’m getting to know and chat to and the friendly chatter of the parents, who, over the course of a term, invariably become friends, it’s a little like hosting lots of big play dates really, just without the stress that mine will show themselves up by doing something naughty! Aside from all of this there is also the complete ease in which it fits around my own family. I have two young boys who I want to be a full time mum to, to be there with them in the holidays and this way I can. I’m very lucky!
This was the reason why I took the rather scary and expensive step to first license and then franchise the business. I had a very wonderful friend who was desperate to get back a work life balance and she loved to bake and loved kids so it seemed an ideal step. We did the planning together to get what we both wanted but in the last stage she had a change of heart, however someone she had spoken to along the way contacted and asked if she could do it instead and so there I was with my first licensee. After a few years and a few new people we restructured it to a franchise and at the moment we now have ten lovely lades and myself, running classes, with the hope that more will join us soon. Starting a business is never easy, whether alone or as a franchise but as a franchise you do have everything in place, lots of support and some ready made advertising. My aim is for everyone to know about Crafty Cooks, for every child to be able to go to a class, for every parent to learn how to get their kids cooking and eating and well… world domination! If you or someone you know may just be thinking of starting up something like this and would like to know more, do get in touch! Anna@craftycooks.co.uk