Mumpreneur profile: Katie of Cookery Doodle Doo #mumsinbusiness #parenting #business

katie and son finley aged 3 Your Name and Age: Katie Elfer, age 31

Tell us about your family: My husband Sam and sons Finley (6) and Darcy (1)

What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?

I’d worked in financial services as part of a big company for a little over 4 years when I decided to leave and launch Cookery Doodle Doo full-time.

I’d started running weekend cooking workshops with children as a way to spend more time with my son Fin. I felt as a full-time working mum that I missed out on all those parent and child classes in the week. I once found a Saturday class at the library and was so excited, only to be told that I wasn’t allowed – it was only for Dads!  So I took matters into my own hands, and started running my own cooking clubs on a Saturday that BOTH parents could join. My son loved them and it was a great way to spend quality-time together.

easter bunnyAs the business became more popular, I wanted to know how far I could take it and I became frustrated at the lack of time II had. I decided to take the plunge and leave my job which was very scary. It was made easier though by the fact that it was my son’s last summer before he started school so felt like a good time to take a risk.

I’ve never looked back and since we launched the franchise business in March this year, we’ve now got 4 franchisees signed! It’s very exciting and it’s so fantastic to have a team of people to bounce ideas off and work towards goals again. I think I missed that about my old job, but now with all the new people I’ve met and the fun we’ve had – I wouldn’t swap!

What’s your favourite thing about running your own business?

I love the freedom to be creative, be open to opportunities and make quick decisions. In my previous job I’d need 7 signatures to do anything as the regulations and red tape were so restrictive. I still ask for advice now, but know that ultimately I can decide what’s best for the company which is great.

I love being able to pick my son up from school, not having to commute, to meet lovely energetic and enthusiastic people, to make new friends and of course – to see the kids enjoy cooking so much! My son loves cooking and often ‘brainstorms’ with me about recipes (usually involving lots of chocolate!) and some of them are actually pretty good. He is trying to negotiate a commission from me as he is always talking about the cooking holiday clubs at school!

Watching the franchisees grow and develop is also brilliant. You feed off each other’s energy and enthusiasm. We are a great team and see each other as such which makes for a good working relationship.

How do you fit in work with the family?Is your partner supportive of your business?

The business is very flexible. Franchisees can work from home, from other venues, do holiday clubs, after school clubs, pre-schoolers etc. My job is not a 9-5 as inevitably I need to be available to support the team and sometimes that means waiting until the kids have had their bath!

My husband is very supportive. He often serves as the Cookery Doodle Doo mascot and I’ve had him dressed up as a chicken and an Easter Bunny quite recently! (see above!)

Are you working towards a financial goal for your business?

We’ve invested a lot over the last year in developing the functionality of the website and teaching materials. I think it’s really important that we offer a great service to the franchisees who join us and always present a professional image to customers as we grow.

I have a goal to have 20 franchisees within 5 years. I’d love to have bases operating in some of the bigger cities, but the beauty of the business is that it works anywhere that has families.

cookery doodle dooIf you have a flexible working business opportunity, please explain briefly what you offer and how people find out more.

Cookery Doodle Doo are looking to expand their team. If you love baking and would enjoy running a flexible business to fit around your family – this could be right for you.

Cookery Doodle Doo are a fast-growing children’s cooking school franchise. We provide training in all aspects of running the business, recipe cards, a fabulous website, marketing materials, equipment and ongoing support. It’s a great way to have the freedom, creativity and flexibility of your own business but with the backing of a bigger organisation.

You can check out our franchise video or read what our existing franchise team say about their experiences on the website.

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