Wow! I guess this means I’m officially a blogger! If you already follow me on social media, welcome to the blog side of Sprouts! To those of you who are just now finding me, my name is Stephanie and I am the owner of Sprouts Cooking School, a cooking school for kids. No matter how you found me and my blog, I am so happy all of you are here!
I like to think that behind every business is a story, so I’d like to use these first two posts to share a little bit about me and about the evolution of Sprouts! First off, I attended Purdue University (Boiler Up!) where I received my bachelor’s degree in elementary education. I have always loved working with and being around children. I have stayed at home with my children for the past several years while they were young, but as they’ve gotten a little bit older, I wanted a career where I could use my degree and work with children but still have time to be with my babies (yeah, I’ll always call them that..and they’re really starting to not like it, it’s just not fair that kiddos grow up so fast). I think every Mama struggles to find that work/life balance at some point in her life, right?
(My little family)
I am beyond grateful for my family and that I get to call them mine. My husband and I are high school sweethearts and we have been together ever since we met that fateful day in world history class junior year. (Wherever you are in this world, Mr. Abel, thank you for your seating chart…I met my fabulous hubby in your class! 😂). To make our small world seem just a little bit smaller, we bought my childhood home from my Dad about 3 years ago and then we started the process of renovating it. My husband and I met in this house and it has been an amazing experience raising our 3 children in the home where I grew up and where our story began.
Throughout my life, cooking has always been my passion. When my husband and I first got married I was constantly making these huge, elaborate meals for just the two of us. Forget flowers for an anniversary — you want the key to my heart, give me a cookbook! I also love entertaining! Thanksgiving is my mecca. I’ve hosted it for the past 13 years. And when our first child was born, instead of resting when she napped, I cooked. That’s just how I relax and how I stay centered. It’s my soul – it’s just a part of me. After a long day, I like to turn on the Food Network and I cook. Something about their voices as I cook at the same time is soothing to me. Now that I have 3 busy little ones, meals are more hurried and those long meals aren’t as they once were, but I still do it at least once or twice a week. I just double the portions and cook in bulk instead of doing it every night. Having a good home-cooked meal as leftovers the next day is key for my family because we are always on the go!
Like so many other kids these days, mine became obsessed with cooking shows – they watched many of the same Food Network shows I liked and would also watch cooking shows on YouTube as well. My children have always loved cooking with me. I can’t remember a time when there hasn’t been a kid on my counter wanting to help me stir or help me cook in some way (okay, fine, I’ll admit that sometimes they’re fighting with one another over who gets to help stir — it’s not always like a Rice Krispie Treat commercial around here when we cook, but it works for us!).
(My son, “J”, when he was a baby climbing the counter to get to the sauce. I’ve always had monkeys for children and they have always loved cooking…and tasting. Can’t keep them out of the food in this house!)
Cooking together and meal time has always brought us closer as a family. It is a time where we connect and talk about the food and then sit around the kitchen table and talk about our days. There is nothing I cherish more. The fact that my kids share in my passion for cooking makes it all the sweeter.
(This is a page out of the first cookbook I ever gave my oldest daughter, “E”. She was 2.5 and I had the same cookbook when I was a little girl. There is something so special about raising your kids with the same memories you held dear as a child).
I think that a large part of who we are is a product of what we love to do and who we surround ourselves with. I’ve realized that this has never been truer when it comes to my family and, in turn, Sprouts. I’ve tried to take everything that makes me who I am and turn it into a company where I get to spread my love of cooking to other kids. I could’t be more excited to share it with you all!
Stay tuned for Part 2 – The Evolution of Sprouts!