Sprouts Cooking School is growing and has blossomed into a new physical storefront at Main Street and Hazel Dell Parkway.
Stephanie Drewry, who studied elementary education in college, started the cooking school for kids in 2015 and ran the business out of her home. She renovated her home space and got all the necessarily approvals, but eventually it just wasn’t big enough to suit her needs. Now she’s getting ready to open in June in a new space that has four lowered kitchen islands that can accommodate four kids each. Each station has an induction cook top, a sink, a wall mounted oven and a microwave.
“I think we have a really cool location, and I’m super excited about it,” she said. “I’ve kind of been designing it in my head for a really long time with our in-home studio. I never imagined that I could actually do it, but we’ve grown so much and so fast. It’s amazing.”
Since she started, Drewry has given classes to more than 2,500 people at Sprouts, mostly kids ages 3 to 11. She is getting ready to expand into the tween market as well, add some “mommy and me” classes and a mom’s night out and adults-only classes that could possibly serve beer or wine. Her main focus, though, will remain on kids.
“I’ve looked around and there really isn’t anything like this,” she said. “There are some cooking schools for kids across the country, but not many in a store front space and none of them have the kind of set up that we will have.”
With the new space, Drewry will look to hire staff members. So far, it’s been just her. Teaching the classes. Setting the menu. Picking up ingredients. Scheduling students. Cleaning up. She’s done it all, but now she’s looking to hire multiple people, some with education backgrounds and some with professional cooking backgrounds.
“I really want to have both,” she said. “I think the teaching component is really key, especially when you’re working with children, but it’s also necessary to have people who know kitchen safety and cleanliness and understand how to order ingredients and plan a menu. I’ll still be involved in everything, but I’ll need people to grow.”
Drewry will increase her capacity for weekend classes and semester classes, along with summer camps and holiday events. She said she’s been asked to do birthday parties, but she previously could only do so many, especially being a mom with kids of her own.
“I turn away as many parties as I do, which is tough,” she said.
For more information, visit sproutscookingschool.com