by Charlotte Beal
- Cooking classes tend to leave clients hanging out to dry along with the crusty pans once the session ends. Happy Kitchens, created by Iconoculture contributor Tory Davis, strives to be an ongoing coach in the game of eating well. The service begins with a sit-down interview about habits and goals, as well as a kitchen tour, to assess a proper plan of action for meal planning, ingredient/equipment shopping, kitchen organization and cooking technique.
- Davis says that her clients tend to fall into three categories: married women contemplating/approaching motherhood who want to learn how to make wholesome food, single guys who realize that they’re spending too much money on unhealthy takeout, and people ready to make profound changes (say, after receiving a diagnosis of heart disease). One woman was so upset by the BP oil spill that she wanted to learn how to become vegan — her best chance at a lower carbon footprint.
- Other insights from Davis: Guys are generally very curious about the technical side of cooking (Why is this knife better? Why can’t I throw it all into the pan at once?). And food is a very loaded, emotional subject for many consumers. One client calls Davis her “kitchen therapist.”
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- For emotional, physical, financial and environmental reasons, consumers are becoming more interested in learning how to cook, but getting up from watching Food Network and into a practical eating/cooking plan can feel extremely daunting. Tutors who are part coach and part therapist are finding a powerful niche.
- Eating well means different things to different people: healthy, wholesome, handmade, high-quality, delicious, green, convenient, realistic. Either way, consumers are asking themselves deeper questions about what it means to nurture themselves and those they love. Acknowledging the spiritual/emotional transition of novice cooks goes a long way in earning their trust.