Cater Prep School is a program to help aspiring cooks from many different circumstances to gain the skills necessary to start their own food company. Highly motivated aspiring cooks are given the opportunity to take their ideas and abilities to the next level: a business of their own.
Cater Prep has 5 steps.
Step One Classroom
Participants must attend 12 weeks of classroom presentations and discussions in which students are walked through the realities and necessary entrepreneurial skills, safety and health department requirements, purchasing and production, branding and marketing and cooking in quantities. Make Food Work, published by Jeanie Gruber, will function as a textbook and reference guide for students. Guest speakers from catering companies and small food entrepreneurs will share their stories and what their day to day experience has taught them are the important tools and tips of the “trade”.
Step Two Practice
Students must observe and learn experientially the business, from start to finish, of providing a “food product” in either Miss Jeanies Catering and Improv Take Out or other catering or food establishments. Each student will be assigned a “mentor” who will create their 12 week practicum.
Step Three Creation
Miss Jeanies is more than just a catering company; it is a company with a mission committed to helping aspiring cooks from different circumstances gain the skills and resources necessary to start their own company. Aspiring cooks with high motivation to start a business but needing some guidance are given the opportunity to take their ideas and abilities to the next level: a business of their own.
Using her years of experience as a successful caterer and tapping into carefully cultivated resources and partnerships, Jeanie navigates these newly minted professionals through the obstacles and challenges of launching a new food business. She teaches them the tools and tips to learn and practice the craft of food production.
As part of the direct teaching part of the program, participants will use Miss Jeanies recently published book, Make Food Work. as a program guide and reference. Each chapter walks potential food entrepreneurs through detailed, realistic steps of how to take their love of food and turn it into a profitable enterprise.
At Cater Prep other food entrepreneurs share their own process, mistakes , stories and acquired wisdom with participants – guiding inspirations from their day to day life in the food business.
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in Miss Jeanies Catering and Improv Take Out to observe and learn experientially the business, from start to finish, of providing a “food product”.
After a period of time, each participant is required to name, brand and organize their new company. A “product” is created, a menu designed and a marketing plan enacted. The first client is obtained. A party, a boxed lunch, a food product is produced and delivered – all with the guidance, supervision and resource support of Miss Jeanies.
Following this and each subsequent endeavor, their “product” is evaluated for customer satisfaction, financial success, challenges, revisions and modifications of product.
Initially all participants will run their company in an “etsy” like structure…Miss Jeanies will provide the back up billing and book keeping for students, allowing students the time and energy to sell, shop, cook and produce their products.
Ultimately participants have two options. They can remain a part of Miss Jeanies until they deem themselves ready to separate and function independent of Miss Jeanies. Or participants may choose to stay and continue to run their businesses in the “etsy” model of entrepreneurship.
Finally, once participants have “graduated”, begin to feel confident in their new endeavor, they are encouraged to “pay it forward”, a concept Miss Jeanie has always endorsed. Graduates (and of course Miss Jeanie) will become advisors and “of counsel” to new aspiring food entrepreneurs.