Cooking lessons – chef included. From the comfort of your own kitchen – or the chef’s kitchen, it’s up to you.
Spice & Spoon takes cooking classes back to the basics by partnering with talented and passionate local chefs, and connecting them with you, to teach cooking classes in authentic kitchens. Like yours. You can even include a few friends and make it a (dinner) party!
Cofounder Kendra Kuppin dishes the details and tells us what else they’ve got cooking.
Tell us about the service.
Spice & Spoon is a marketplace for cooking classes that take place in home kitchens. You can hire a chef to come to your home and teach you how to make anything from pasta to cake pops to Indian food. We know that kitchen space in NYC is often limited, so you can also go to a local chef’s home to learn how to cook.
How is it different?
People have this idea of cooking classes as being formal, expensive, and for a cooking-obsessed demographic. We are re-branding the cooking experience for a younger demographic by making classes intimate, fun, and laid back…something interesting to do with friends or a date. We don’t do commercial kitchens, large classes sizes, or 4-hour workshops. While our classes definitely teach you to cook, they’re intended to be a unique social experience. For close to the same price as dinner with drinks in the city, you can have a chef come to your home and give you a personal lesson with friends (BYOB of course). Lastly, we take a lot of pride in hand-picking our chefs. We have a highly curated pool of talent whom we believe serve as awesome brand ambassadors for Spice & Spoon.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We’re starting in NYC and the surrounding areas like Brooklyn, Hoboken, and Jersey City. When it comes to expanding, we are looking at cities with high population density like LA, Chicago, Philly, etc. Our target customer is between 22-45, and looking to improve their quality of life through educational and creative leisure activities…a growing market. Young people want to have fun experiences that they walk away from feeling more cultured, educated, and fulfilled. We’ve seen a lot of fast growing companies targeting a similar demographic from different angles (Thrillist, Time Out, Vimbly, etc.).
What is the business model?
The chef is entirely free to choose his or her own class price (though Spice & Spoon provides guidance, based on market demand). We take a fixed percentage fee from the chef’s side and a lower, scaled percentage fee from the user.
What’s cuisine is the most popular that people in NYC want to learn how to cook?
Pasta-making from scratch, for sure. I don’t’ really trust someone who doesn’t like pasta (unless you’re gluten-free). It’s something that everyone loves but most people have never thought of making from scratch. Pasta-making is a very hands-on class, so people have a ton of fun with it. I’ve seen a group of 28-year-old men get very creative with their dough…it kind of brings out the child in you. Not to mention, that freshly made pasta is out of this world. Nothing compares.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within 6 months?
We’ve seen a lot of companies crash and burn when they try to grow too quickly, so we are very focused on further developing the process here in New York. Six months out, though, we would like to have expanded into another city, hit a target number of users, and obtained funding.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
We would ideally like to connect with someone who has extensive experience in marketplace businesses, as well as food tech. There are a good amount of investors whom we would be excited to work with; I don’t think we can narrow it down to one. The only additional requirement from this investor is that he or she must have a passion for food (I’m generally not too concerned about trouble finding that!).
Why did you launch in New York?
First of all, I love this city. I’m originally from LA, so preferring NYC to Los Angeles is kind of taboo, but you really can’t compare. Besides that fact, New York is ideal for Spice & Spoon for several reasons. First, New Yorkers are passionate about their culture, their entertainment, and of course, their food. Naturally, we felt like this was the perfect audience. Second, New York is very concentrated, in terms of population, which allows us to connect chefs and customers within a reasonable travel vicinity. Lastly, New Yorkers are forward thinking. They understand concepts quickly and keep an open mind. There are some places where people would be more hesitant to engage in any in-home activity. We didn’t want to have to go through the task of educating the market, especially when so many companies have already paved the way.
What’s your favorite fall destination in NYC?
It’s technically not in the city, but going apple picking is one of my favorite things to do in the fall. Friends, wine, apples, trees…you can’t go wrong. Well, don’t drink and climb.