Rising Star: Rosalind Rathouse

Rosalind Rathouse quit teaching and started her company Cookery School six years ago. She has since proved that launching the business was no half-baked idea.


Rosalind Rathouse quit teaching and started her company Cookery School six years ago. She has since proved that launching the business was no half-baked idea.

Rosalind Rathouse quit teaching and started her company Cookery School six years ago. She has since proved that launching the business was no half-baked idea.

Why did you decide to start-up?

When one of my secondary school students asked if there was anywhere he could take a cookery class and I discovered all the ones available were already booked-up, so I decided to start my own school.

How has the business grown?

I think the recession has really helped over the last year, as more people want to stay in and eat. Our turnover has grown by four-fold over that period. We’re currently booked out until next year. I think our success is down to keeping the classes informal and educational.

How did you get the funding?

It was really hard to get money from the bank. In the end, we managed to get a £17,000 and I raised a further £50,000 with credit cards and savings. Once we’d proved ourselves, we secured a much larger loan for £100,000 for an extension.

How have you promoted the business?

Up until now we’ve been very publicity shy. It’s mainly been through word of mouth. We send out a corporate brochure for team building exercise courses. And for the individual classes we advertise in Time Out. A lot of people also find us through Google.

Where next?

We want to expand, but our main focus is to do more of the same. Our aim is to instil more confidence in people’s cooking abilities. I think that’s something we really lack as a country, despite all those cookery programmes – which just amount to entertainment.

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