I am Jennie Thompson; my business is The Cooks Workshop.
I believe that an individual can drive sustainable change, whilst being mindful that it is not a journey taken alone. It requires collaboration, the seizing of opportunity and support, as you follow your passion.
At The Cooks Workshop, we are leading the way to provide a consistent approach to healthy eating for people with a disability, both those in shared living in group homes and individuals in their own homes. There are many sections of our community that live at the edge as far as quality of life goes (education, diet, health care etc). These people are not necessarily catered for by mainstream support. We offer programmes built around nutrition, menu planning, budgeting and of course cooking skills.
Covid19 has had a huge impact, I have had to give up workshop premises and face to face classes, and totally pivot my business. The positive side to this is that I have been pushed into being very clear about who I want to help.
Four lessons I learned from having to reinvent my business:
- Don’t be afraid to start something new, to follow your dreams, but do your homework, -look at the numbers , do a business plan, get advice from a business adviser, research your competition, determine your target markets, set goals ….most of all know what you want to achieve and know your WHY!
- Be open to change, be flexible and open to new options. Quite often your true direction won’t become evident until you have made a few turns on your business journey.
- Learn the value of collaboration and working with people to enhance your business opportunities. The key to successful networking though, is relationship building. By being curious and open to others, you’ll have the chance to understand what matters most to them and how you can share your own connections. Ultimately, effective networking is not about serving yourself but finding ways to serve others. Instead of asking “what’s in it for me?” ask yourself “how can I help this person?” This will instantly shift the dynamic in your connections. The best part about giving is the sense of confidence, purpose, accomplishment you’ll get when you contribute and participate in something bigger than you.
There is no better reward than connecting two people who can add value to each other’s lives and businesses. When you give to your network, it’s important to not expect anything in return. When passionately helping others, your network will likely be influenced to do the same for you.
- Face your fears. Not doing this, causes you stop taking important steps forward in life and putting off doing things that may be personally challenging. Once I harnessed the ability to tackle fears head on, things changed. I was able grow as a person, learn the value of goal setting and scheduling and experience the joy of achieving.
I would love to work with both organisations and individuals operating in the disability sector. If you If you know someone who needs our help to enhance their life with cooking skills and healthy eating please get in touch.
The Cooks Workshop can also offer team building health-focused cooking classes on-site with your team. We can tailor a program that targets healthy eating to build your suits your teams resilience.