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  1. #1
    cookderosa's Avatar
    cookderosa is offline Emperor / Empress
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    Mar 2007
    Illinois -> North Carolina

    Default off topic - starting our business!

    So I know this is totally off topic, but since you are all my "family" I thought I'd do a little update. Some of you may already know, that my husband and I are starting a business.

    This process started in January, when I had an epiphany. I was about a year into my culinary burnout (18 years teaching for the program I used to run, and just SO over it all), so I was here, taking random science classes, fooling around with career changes, changing my career changes, dropped out of 7 graduate programs in 14 months (is that a record? ) and found my way onto one of those What Color is Your Parachute type sites. My dilemma was that I loved my field, I love cooking/cheffing, I love teaching culinary, and and I used to have my dream job. I just hated THIS job. THIS job, however, was the only one of it's kind in town, and there isn't any justification to when it asked something like "what would you do with your life if you won the lottery" I answered "I'd start my own damn culinary school." In that split second, I wondered if I could do it without winning the lottery? Well, I'm going to give it a shot!

    I won't droll on and on, but I've been working on my concept and doing research since about the minute it hit me. I traveled to other privately owned culinary schools in other parts of the United States, met the owners and found wonderful mentors. I've been building the curriculum and concept at a good pace for the past few months. I'm nearly done. I'm going to visit my local SCORE office and get some feedback / guidance on a few parts I don't understand, and go from there. If all goes well, I should have funding by this time next month! Is that crazy or what????

    Despite owning the domain, we don't yet have a website - I was going to give the name, but I'll wait until we get our site. I have a million plates spinning in the air, and I don't think this is even the start of it all!

    In a nutshell, we'll have a 6 month culinary diploma program for enrolled students and recreational courses on weekends. I hope to get my courses ACE evaluated so students can get college credit, and I hope to get national accreditation so they can get student loans/pell grants-----that's a big expensive deal and we have to be open for 2 years before we can even apply, but that's a goal. At some point, I'm going to incorporate theory-based distance learning options, likely continuing education for professional certification, but that's wayyy wayyyy off too. I'm just trying to figure out which way is up at this point.

    So, if you tolerated my raving, thank you. I seriously have had to keep this completely confidential (it's a small world) and I needed to tell someone!! I am sooo excited, nervous, self-doubting, get the idea. When the time comes that we launch our site, I'll post it here (with permission) for y'all to check out
    10 year member

    Certified Dietary Manager (in progress)
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    MS Nutrition, 2014 Canisius College, Buffalo, NY
    BA Social Science, 2008 Thomas Edison State University, Trenton, NJ
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  2. #2
    NAP is offline Emperor / Empress
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Wow! Wow! Wow! I had no idea that is what you have been starting. It sounds like a wonderful combination of your interests. I wish you so much success and enjoyment in this project!! Thanks for sharing this with us and be sure to let us know how things are progressing.
    AS in 2010 and BS in 2013 at Excelsior College - Transcripts and Costs

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  3. #3
    GoodtoGo is offline Senior Squire
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    Jul 2010


    How very exciting! It sounds like your dream job, and it will be YOUR business. I love your entrepreneurial spirit!
    Testing CreditsALEKS- Beginning Algebra, CLEP Intro Psychology, CLEP Principles of Management, CLEP Principles of Marketing, CLEP Info Systems & Computer App, CLEP Intro Sociology, CLEP Analyzing & Interpreting Literature, DSST Environment & Humanity, DSST Here's to Your Health, DSST Organizational Behavior, DSST Personal Finance, DSST Substance Abuse, DSST Supervision
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    English Composition 1, English Composition 2, Nutrition, Intercultural Communications, Introduction to Business, US History 2, College Algebra, HR Management, Professional Selling, Consumer Behavior, Managing Organizational Change, Art Appreciation, Music Appreciation, Statistics

  4. #4
    andy3000's Avatar
    andy3000 is offline Senior Squire
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    May 2009


    I recommend putting up a free video class ASAP (a series of videos). You need to establish yourself as a subject matter expert. If you can use the kitchen of your current job that would allow you to create some very professional looking videos. Just make sure you can't get fired for using their kitchen, or post after you quit you job.

    I would also think about making the biz heavily focused on web based learning from the start. It is probably a lot cheaper in terms of overhead.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Geezer's Avatar
    Geezer is offline Duke / Duchess
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    Jun 2007
    God's Waiting Room (Florida)


    Exciting stuff!!! Congrats. I'm going to throw you a curve, but bear with me.

    A partner of mine (in another business) was just offered $5 million for his business + they want him to continue to run the business at full salary and they want to pump another $5 million into expanding the company. Why??? EVERYONE with money is trying to find new ways to earn 10% return on their money right now. This company (representing venture capitalists) doesn't want to run company's they want to earn a return on investing in them.

    Makes perfect sense in this economy....and it is unlikely to change anytime soon.

    I know this is your dream, but you should consider the possibility of building it and selling it. That is how you make money.

    The other thing you should consider (after SCORE has helped/critiqued the business plan and if funding becomes an issue) is to take on a partner (under 50%) who knows you, is familiar with the education concept and has deep pockets that is currently only earning 1-2%. There are probably 5-6 people on the other board who qualify and would, if it was presented properly, invest. I'm serious.

    Good luck, you can do it!!!
    Excelsior - BS Business 2008
    Son #1 TESC BSBA Computer Information Systems completed June 2010
    Son #2 TESC BA Computer Science completed November 2010 Currently in Florida State (FSU) Masters CS program and loving it

  6. #6
    STG's Avatar
    STG is offline Count / Countess
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    Dec 2010
    New York


    Good luck! Wishing you success!
    - STG
    Intro to Sociology 51|Biology 54|Intro to Psychology 61
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    124 credits: B.A Social Sciences DONE in 14 months; August 2011
    "The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty"- Winston Churchill

  7. #7
    rebel100's Avatar
    rebel100 is offline Moderator
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    Sep 2010


    Good luck cook! I'm really glad to hear this is coming to fruition for you! I have every confidence you will make it a big success!
    MBA, Western Governors University February 2014
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  8. #8
    burbuja0512's Avatar
    burbuja0512 is offline Crown Prince / Princess
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    Jun 2010


    Wow that is so exciting!!!! I agree with Andy3000 about the internet push. When you have your web designed, make sure you're working with someone who really understands what you're trying to do and who is good with SEO. (Search Engine Optimization) If you are well optimized, it can save you a fortune in advertising.

    Also consider that we are in a great time for small businesses and free advertising. Social media can be such a great equalizer. If you do your homework, a good Facebook or LinkedIn page can make you just as popular as a school that's twice as large. Speaking of LinkedIn, Are you on LinkedIn? Are you connecting with people that might be able to help you? Are you spreading the word about yourself on your own personal FB page?

    Can't wait to hear more!!
    Regis University, ITESO, Global MBA in Emerging Markets 4.0 GPA
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  9. #9
    HorseManiac's Avatar
    HorseManiac is offline Duke / Duchess
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    Aug 2010


    Yay Cook!! That is so awesome. I'll be waiting to check out your website. Good luck with the rest of the work you have to do to get it finished!
    West. Civ I - 65, A&I Literature - 66, Biology - 65, Chemistry - 55, Nat. Sciences - 64, US History I - 68, Am. Literature - 61, US History II - 62, Am. Gov. - 67, Macroecon. - 63, Microecon. - 75, College Comp. - 66, Prin. of Marketing - 68, Prin. of Management - 71

    Civil War and Reconst. - 70, Prin. of Supervision - 443, Intro to World Religions - 477, Intro to Business - 443, Human Resource Mgmt - 64, Intro to Computing - 458, Prin. of Fin. Accounting - 80, Business Ethics & Society - 447, Prin. of Finance - 437

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  10. #10
    Merlin's Avatar
    Merlin is offline Knight / Dame
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    Jul 2011
    San Francisco Bay Area


    Ready for your CLEP exam?

    Study for your exam using the same CLEP Study Guides used by thousands of members of this discussion forum!

    Very cool... congrats! We will all need to sign up for some classes once you're all set up and ACE approved! I know I could stand to take some remedial cooking classes if you were to offer those.
    Goal: BS (BA or OL) from COSC by EOY 2013

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