Cooking School

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Interview with Amelia Cooper, Owner of Cooper's Culinary School in Charleston, South Carolina

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got interested in cooking?

Shop Stories interview with the owner of a Cooking School

I grew up in a family that loved food, and I was always fascinated by the aromas and flavors that came from the kitchen. When I was 14, I began helping my mother cook meals for our family, and I quickly fell in love with the creative and meditative aspects of cooking. After high school, I attended culinary school in Paris, and I've been cooking ever since.

2. How did Cooper's Culinary School come to be?

After working as a head chef at several restaurants in New York and Chicago, I decided to launch my cooking school. I wanted to create a space where people could come and learn how to cook authentic, delicious meals from scratch. I opened Cooper's Culinary School six years ago in Charleston, South Carolina, which is known for its incredible food culture.

3. What were some of the challenges you faced when starting Cooper's Culinary School?

One of the biggest challenges I faced was finding a way to reach potential customers. When I first opened the school, I relied solely on word of mouth and flyers to advertise. While I had a strong following in the local community, I knew I needed to reach a wider audience if I wanted to grow my business.

4. How did you overcome those challenges?

One of the things that really helped me was to launch an online store through Shopify. Through the store, I'm able to sell gift certificates for my classes and workshops to people who may not live in the area, but are interested in learning from me. It's also helped me streamline the registration process for local customers.

5. Can you share a particularly memorable experience you've had while teaching a class?

I once had a couple come in for a date night class, and they ended up getting engaged at the end of our session! It was such a special moment, and it really emphasized the power of food to bring people together.

6. What sets Cooper's Culinary School apart from other cooking schools?

I think the biggest thing that sets us apart is our commitment to using fresh, local ingredients in all of our classes. Our students get to learn not only how to cook amazing meals, but also how to support local farmers and businesses.

7. What have been some unexpected successes for Cooper's Culinary School?

One unexpected success has been the growth of our online store. Through our Shopify platform, we've been able to reach people all over the world who are interested in learning from us. Our online gift certificates and classes have become so popular that we've actually had to hire additional staff to keep up with the demand!

8. What's next for Cooper's Culinary School?

We're planning to expand our offerings by launching a line of cooking utensils and kitchenware. We want to provide our students with the tools they need to create incredible meals at home. I'm so excited about this next chapter for Cooper's Culinary School!

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