Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laura Scheck, Founder of Teaching Table, located in Ossining, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Teaching Table is a culinary education platform that inspires home cooks of all ages to cook with what they have. Teaching Table teaches how to shop less, cook more and waste nothing through cooking classes, live demos, tips, techniques, and recipes via a blog and social media.
While many of our students live locally and can take in-person lessons directly or through our partners like Mount Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine, Brooklyn Brainery, and Bronxville Adult School, our virtual classes, online self-paced courses, and recipes reach a broad audience all around the world.
Tell us about yourself
I am a teacher turned chef with nine years of experience helping home cooks everywhere to use what they have. I've always had a passion for food, where it comes from, and how to make it, but I became most invested when I helped start my neighborhood CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with Brooklyn neighbors in 2011. I developed a relationship with my farmers and learned how to use new foods in unexpected quantities. Reducing food waste motivates me in the kitchen and in my role as a culinary instructor. I get excited to repurpose foods and teach my students how to avoid food waste in delicious creative ways.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My customers are satisfied with my services, so much so that they return for more classes. The vast majority of my students are repeat customers. 98% of surveyed students would recommend Teaching Table to a friend and say that my classes have taught them something new and given them confidence in the kitchen. This tells me I'm doing something right!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is wearing lots of hats and being required to have knowledge and experience in all key business areas. Related to that, as a small business, it is tricky to know when to hire additional help or outsource for support on various tasks and projects and when to do them yourself.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take a business course - check your local chamber of commerce, libraries, and other non-profit organizations to see what programs they might offer. I did this to learn the basics, and it has been invaluable!
- Narrow in on 1 or 2 key services/products to start and fine-tune those.
- Make some partnerships that can mutually support your businesses.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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