Little City Kitchen Co. Blog

My stories about local food, fermentation, and formerly organic baby food
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Continuing Education…

I’m learning SO much every day.  There are so many things that I never knew I needed to know!  If you need to know anything about commercial vacuum-sealers, grain grinders, or countertop convection ovens….trust me, I’m your girl. In a few weeks, you can add bookkeeping and trademarks & patents to that list.  It brings new meaning to the word “continuing education”.

I’ve continued to take evening classes from the San Francisco Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Took a wonderful class last week called “From Kitchen to Market” designed for the specialty food market.  One piece of information in particular made the entire class worthwhile (a food manufacturers permit that I may not need if I’m not selling wholesale).  That alone may save me nearly two whole months.  Next up is a three-part series on bookkeeping.  Who’s excited?

Food Meets Learning

Great response received for my first cooking class: From Apples to Beets:  Making Your Own Organic Baby Food.  The date has been set for Thursday, August 28th from 2:30pm-4:30pm.  Several of my friends will be attending (thanks guys!), and there will also be some new faces.  Stay tuned, because more “adult” classes will be coming soon.  Everything from Easy Appetizers to Cooking with Whole Grains.  You’ll learn a lot about food, but more importantly, each class will be a completely fun and memorable experience!

Personal Chef Conference

I’m excited this week to attend the annual Personal Chef Conference in Denver, CO put on by the US Personal Chef Association (USPCA).  A great excuse to spend some time with my dad and stepmom, and see an old college friend in Denver too!

I’m heading there early to attend the volunteer day: a partnership project with the Denver Public Schools that involves cooking demonstrations and gardening with many of the school children.  Okay, I’m a total dork…but I even signed up for the “first timers” class.  But hey, I want to meet as many people and learn as much as I can while I’m there.  Yup, that’s me.


I’ve spent that last 10 years of my professional life being the one with the answers.  One of the biggest adjustments for me thus far has been not knowing what questions to ask, much less having any of the answers.  It’s like every day I get another piece of the puzzle…but yet I don’t have a picture of the puzzle, much less how many pieces I need to finish the thing!  As I said, an adjustment.

But man-oh-man…I’m having a blast!  I had a great photo shoot a few weeks ago and have some wonderful pictures to share soon.  I’m really excited about the upcoming cooking classes.  Got my brand new business cards with my logo.  Extended my kitchen lease for a year.  Making some great new contacts.  Generating some excitement for the baby food.  Progress.

So…all in all it’s been a great couple of weeks.  I’m trying to keep all the doubts and fears at bay, and just continue to move forward.  Looking forward to next week’s blog where I can tell you all about the conference.

From Apples to Beets…

Introducing the first of many cooking classes I will be offering:  From Apples to Beets: Making Your Own Organic Baby Food.

And I need your help! I’m looking for 8-10 people interested in making their own baby food and willing to be my first guinea pigs. If you (or any of your family, friends, and work buddies) are interested, just send me an email.

Classes will be held in my Emeryville, CA kitchen.  The dates are TBD but will be in the next 3-4 weeks.  Cost to participate will only be $20.00 per person which covers the cost of food.  We will be focused on making baby food for infants primarily between 6-12 months, however you can easily adapt the techniques and ingredients to make food for children of all ages.

Here’s the class description:

From Apples to Beets: Making Your Own Organic Baby Food

This hands-on class will explore the various types of whole grains, vegetables, and fruit your little one can enjoy as they begin eating solid foods, and the different methods that any home cook can use to make baby food in their own kitchen.

Participants will make several wholesome baby foods such as brown rice cereal, roasted sweet potatoes, homemade applesauce, roasted golden beets and much more.   You get to take home about a week’s worth of food which can be enjoyed right away or frozen for up to several months until your baby is ready to eat.

I hope you’ll be able to join me for my first of many wonderful cooking classes!  And a reminder, please email me if you or anyone you know is interested in taking this class.

Peaks and Valleys

People told me to expect a lot of ups and downs throughout this process.  Well, I’ve just figured out that’s the understatement of the century.  I told you guys from the beginning that this was going to be the most honest food blog you’ll ever read, so on that note, this has been a really tough week.

Truth: I have spent only two days actually cooking baby food (which thankfully turned out exactly as I had envisioned).   How have I been spending my time you ask?  Buried in paperwork, leaving numerous messages for the Health Department, and taking Small Business classes by night.

Okay seriously, it’s crazy.  Before I put one spoonful of baby food in anyone’s mouth, I have to:

  1. Form an LLC
  2. Register with the zoning office
  3. Get a business license
  4. Get a sellers permit
  5. Get a resellers permit
  6. Apply for a Processed Food Manufacturer’s permit which involves a kitchen inspection from the Health Department
  7. And much, much more…

You’re probably thinking the same thing that I am…  Crap, that’s going to take a long time! Which of course triggers any entrepreneur’s normal fear: Am I going to run out of money?

So the next week will be dedicated to figuring out how profitable this type of business can be, and will I have enough money to wait it out.

Let’s end on a positive note though.  I have partnered with a fantastic baby resource center that will add my baby food cooking class to their schedule and blast out my information to over 5000 parents.  There are still some wonderful opportunities out there, so I’m trying to stay focused on them to keep me motivated!


On a side note: Anyone know a cool accountant/friend in California that can donate 10 minutes of their time?  I have a few general tax questions and can’t seem to find anyone who will give me the time of day.  Thanks!