How did you come up with the idea of your business?
I’ve always been passionate about cooking and absolutely love just getting lost in some baking or messing about with ingredients to come up with something new. The idea came after I had my second daughter and the house we were living in at the time was fairly small and the kitchen just wasn’t big enough for the girls to get involved, which made me sad as I remember helping my mum when I was little it was such a big part of my childhood. So I started to look to see if there was a local kids cookery club and there wasn’t anything like it around and then was when my idea was born!
How I got started?
It wasn’t till July 2016 a good few years later till I started my business, we had moved to Derby and had our third child by then who was just 1. I wanted to see more of her and was working all ours under the sun and that’s when I remembered about my business idea. There was no stopping me so within two months I had left my job and had started Three Bears Cookery Club. I started it from my kitchen running cookery classes for all ages of children. I was approached by a school about running some after school cookery sessions which I jumped at the chance, no idea how much to charge or how it was going to pan out I just went for it. It all just grew from there.
What hurdles have you had to overcome?
With anything new its been a big learning curve; from not making any money, to working out the best way to run the business, what recipes work well and what don’t. I’ve learnt so much since I have first started and looking back I do things very differently in terms of my admin and how I manage the business but the core of the classes remain same; giving children the opportunity to learn how to cook, try new foods and develop independence.
How has it been managing your business & family?
It is tough managing a business and family, but it is so much easier than when I was working for someone else because I set my goals for the business and where I want it to go. I set myself tasks each week to complete, to move my business forward, to keep the bookings coming in and honouring my commitments to my customers. Since we have been in lockdown it’s been a mixture of emotions, I feel I have more time on my hands with no school runs and just running the clubs online but having to factor in home schooling for my 3 girls is challenging at times plus not having that period of uninterrupted time to get things done. What I will say is that since lockdown my girls have become so much more involved in my business, I love that they are able to get involved, they join in the classes, they come on the lives and they even help me with all the recipe creations. I love hearing their ideas for new bakes. So yes it is busy and can be stressful at time it is so rewarding as we are building our Three Bears empire together and most importantly being there for them.
What inspires you?
Seeing the children develop in our classes, knowing that you have given them an opportunity to learn a life skill, to see their faces when their bake comes out of the oven and the pure look of joy and excitement that they have made it. Children seem to light up when they are baking and it is so rewarding as you get to share it with your family and eat it at the end too! Seeing the difference between children who just join our classes to the end of the term is amazing, to see how far they have come and how their confidence has grown in a few short weeks is extremely inspiring.
Children seem to light up when they are baking and it is so rewarding as you get to share it with your family and eat it at the end too!
How do you feel about where you started and how far you’ve come?
Since I started in 2016, which started out using my kitchen to run 2 classes a week. I am so proud of what I have achieved. 4 years on I have team of 4 cookery club teachers and we now run roughly 8 after school club sessions per week, our holiday workshops fill up really quickly and we usually have a waiting list for them! We recently launched our in-school workshops where we deliver a mornings workshop to school classes about healthy eating and our year 6 life skills workshop, which are a great addition to our school offerings.
Soon to launch is my new Podcast ‘The Secret Mums Baking Club’ I am so excited by this and currently have a facebook group, where we share tips, recipes and anything to do with baking and cooking! Please do check us out!
The next stage of our growth is our Franchise of the business. Which is launching in July. It makes me feel so excited to think that we will be spreading our Three Bears Cookery Club wings across the UK, giving even more children a chance to learn independence in the kitchen.
My advice would be if you are thinking about starting your own business just go for it, there are so many business groups and free training courses & podcasts out there to get you started.
My second piece of advice is to get a business coach, I had one when I first started who was fantastic and really helped me develop my business, the pricing and my business strategy. I now have a different coach who is amazing, and she holds me accountable, pushes me forward in my business. Sometimes you just need to that little push and someone to discuss business ideas with.
Finally, if things go wrong change it, then brush yourself off and don’t dwell on it. I have made countless mistakes since starting the business, but I have learnt from each one which has me stronger improved the business. I’m also pretty sure I will continue to make mistakes on my next part of the journey, but this is how we learn. So, don’t be afraid just go for it!
if things go wrong change it, then brush yourself off and don’t dwell on it.