Little City Kitchen Co. Blog

My stories about local food, fermentation, and formerly organic baby food
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And The Winning Logo is…

Introducing the new logo for Little City Kitchen Co.!  Thanks SO much for all your wonderful comments and feedback – I was blown away by the response.

Here were my conclusions and thoughts about each of the logos…

Logo #1: I love the simplicity that many of you mentioned.  Clearly the spatula didn’t work (nope, not a popsicle or a toilet plunger guys), but I liked that the focus is on the LCKC name.

Logo #2: I love flowers, and yes Will, the logo just made me happy to look at!  This was probably the crowd-favorite if you count up all the votes.  My uncle made a great comment that it was a little “Fisher Price”, which I agreed with and was eventually the reason I didn’t choose it.  In the end, it was my favorite design, but it didn’t send the message that I was looking for in a brand or business.

Logo #3: Loved the idea of a stacked logo, but it just wasn’t working for me.  A few of you that said your eye was drawn first to the picture and as a result, the LCKC name got lost.  I agreed.  I think this was the most creative of the three, but it was a little too busy for me.

The Beet on the Street

So as you can see, I went with the simple route and switched up the mark (the picture-thingy).  I couldn’t seem to think of a kitchen tool to use in the spatula’s place, so in the end I found a really cool picture of a red beet that Wendy re-created.  And everyone knows that I’m a die hard veggie-aholic, so it seemed much more fitting!

I know, I know…it doesn’t scream “baby”.  There will eventually be a separate brand, name, and logo for the baby food, but this logo is versatile enough to grow in any direction the company the company takes.

More details coming later, but suffice it to say, my days have been spent navigating business license requirements, health codes, taking food safety courses, and talking with small business consultants.  For any potential entrepreneurs, check out the East Bay SCORE, a non-profit organization that offers free consulting for small businesses.

None of those topics are extremely interesting to write about though, and after the past week, I have only one thing left to say…

Logo design is SO much more fun!

So guys….what do you think of the new logo?

A Tale of Three Logos…

Need your help guys!

I’m in the process of designing a logo for Little City Kitchen Co. and would love to get your feedback on which one you like best.  I’ve narrowed it down to three different options:

How To Vote:

Please either write a comment below about which logo you like, or leave a comment on my LCKC Facebook Page.  Feel free to include what you like or don’t like about each one as well, especially if you’re not sure about any of the elements.

Special note of thanks to Byron Roe Photography who captured the amazing pictures you’ve seen on the blog (and more coming on the future website), and to Wendy Roe who has designed countless logos for me over the last week!  Shameless plug alert – if anyone is in the market for some really killer wedding or event photographers, you should check them out.

Your feedback on the logos is much appreciated.  Please vote!!  Thanks Everyone.

A Surprising New Direction…

This has been one of the most creative and exhilarating weeks of my life.  Those who know me well know that I’m not prone to being overly-dramatic, so when I say this has been exhilarating, I mean it’s been a knock-your-socks-off absolutely amazing sort of week.  I promised in the beginning to share this entire process with you, so here goes.

Three things have dramatically changed…

First, I am now the proud renter of commercial kitchen space!  My “plan” had been to spend the next 3 months casually looking for commercial space (while I was writing my business plan) so that I could eventually have a place to teach cooking classes.  Then WHAMO…I found a charming chocolate production company looking to lease their kitchen out on evenings and weekends for a very reasonable amount.   It was too good to pass up.

This got me thinking.  I planned on teaching cooking classes during the week, but with access for the entire weekend, what else could I cook?  I mean, you can’t let all that empty space just sit there, right?  Which brings me to big change #2…

I have decided to enter the baby food business.

Not Your Average Gerber

This won’t be your average Gerber food (no offence Gerber babies).  Again, most who know me know that I can be pretty “Martha Stewart-ish.” I go to painstaking efforts to make things looks pretty, so it should come at no surprise that I would approach a baby food venture in the same manner.

I was lying in bed on Tuesday night trying to fall asleep, but kept asking myself “how could I make my baby food different?”  Most people who make their own baby food steam a bunch of mixed veggies, throw the whole lot in a blender, and freeze it in cheap ice cube trays.  Effective, but not real appetizing…

I found silicon molds that will yield a much more sophisticated and appealing presentation.  I had an epiphany that night which I don’t think has been done before in the baby food world.  I’m dying to tell you about it, but and going to wait and make sure I can take the picture in my head and turn it into reality.

At 4:30 that morning (and several other subsequent mornings) I was still awake thinking of all the possibilities…

Just Start Cooking

My third and final item that has dramatically changed: I’ve essentially thrown my initial “plan” out the window.

It took me five years to finally work up enough nerve to leave my job and start this company.  There was a pivotal moment about a month before I made the decision to leave.  I have a very dear friend of mine who asked me “if you didn’t have to have everything planned out, what would your next step be?”  Without any thought, I replied, “I’d just start cooking”.  Literally 10 seconds later I was in tears.  I will always be thankful for that conversation.

So that’s my new plan: I’m going to “just start cooking.”  As a result, the world keeps delivering these wonderful opportunities that are so ridiculously perfect I nearly laugh out loud.  Maybe I’ll write more about those next time…I’m well over the 500 words that my sister said is too long for a blog!

What in the world will THIS week bring??

A Single Girl’s Guide to being a Personal Chef

What Exactly is a Personal Chef?

As I was figuring out the best way to describe the process to you, I kept coming back to the world of dating.  What could finding a mate and food have in common?  A lot as it turns out!

Many people have asked me “What is a personal chef?” In the simplest terms, a personal chef prepares meals for everyday people (just like you!) that don’t have the desire or time to cook.  The food is completely customized based on what the client’s needs: low sugar, healthy, comfort food, International cuisines, whatever…

The Meeting – Not Your Local Bar

So all the single ladies know that the first step in dating is figuring out where to meet a man.  The local bar has been a popular spot historically, but I prefer looking in one of two places: a place where men commonly gather, or a pick a hobby that you enjoy and find men that enjoy the same thing.

For personal chefs, you can meet potential clients by chance, or you can look for them in places they’re more likely to be; wine shops, gourmet grocery stores, health clubs, upscale hair salons, etc…  The reality is that clients interested in hiring a personal chef need to have a certain amount of discretionary income, so you need to look in areas that attract the demographic you’re targeting.

The Food Survey – Your Profile

In the dating world, the Food Survey is kind of like filling out your initial profile online in which you describe what you’re looking for in an ideal mate.  (Thought you’d like that one, Mom).  Contrary to popular belief, you really can’t be too picky with your profile.  It’s completed prior to the first cook date, and is designed to tell the chef your likes and dislikes, which will be used when creating customized menus.

Common questions are:

  • Chicken: white or dark meat preference
  • Known food allergies
  • How spicy to you like your food: mild, medium, spicy, on-fire
  • Food you NEVER want to see

The “dating” stage comes next…

Menu Planning

Once the initial “profile” is completed, a personal chef will then create a menu based on your preferences.  It’s kinda like playing matchmaker.  You take what you know about the foods and flavors they prefer and create menu items that you think they’ll like.   A man who is over 6 feet tall and tips well becomes Cozy Chicken Stew with Lemon and Herb Quinoa.  (I’m a fan of all four things by the way).

The Cook Date

The first cook day comes – very similar to going on a first date.  “I hope he/she likes me” turns into “I hope he/she likes my Asian Soba Noodle Salad.”  Before the cook dates, the personal chef goes shopping…grocery shopping that is…brings all the right equipment to the client’s house and cooks all the dishes their kitchen.  The food gets packaged and labeled with reheating instructions.  The kitchen is left spotless, and the aromas of the day fill the house.

Happily Ever After

So the moral of the story (the cooking part of the story anyways) is that a personal chef is not just a luxury reserved for the movie stars of Beverly Hills.  It can be for normal people like you and me that want to eat great food without the fuss of cooking.

People always say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…hopefully the same will apply for all my future customers!

I’d love to hear from you either by posting a comment, or posting on our Facebook page!  Thanks so much with keeping up-to-date with Little City Kitchen Co.

The First Few Days…

Monday morning, 6:46 AM: my internal body-clock goes off and shouts “get up you idiot, you’re LATE”.  About 20 disoriented seconds later, I realize….wait a minute….and promptly fell back to sleep until 8:30am.  Feeling a little guilty for sleeping in later than I had intended, I dragged my butt out of bed and began my first official day of self-employment.

First task: Buy a new computer.  I’ve been a PC user until this point, but I caved in this week and bought a Macbook.  I can hear my Dad’s voice in my head… “Do you really need a new computer?”  (Yes, Dad). “Then at least buy one refurbished and save a few bucks.”  (Okay, Dad).  The Apple store has a great refurbished section on their website, average 15%-20% savings on each item.  Love it!

After the computer was ordered, I did what any normal foodie would do…I proceeded to re-organize my entire stock of cookbooks.  First shelf contains all the “go-to” cookbooks: Joy of Cooking (the copy my parents gave me as a high-school graduation gift), Martha Stewart’s Hors D’oeurves Handbook, and my countless America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks that I could literally read cover-to-cover.  The next shelf contains all my “inspiration” cookbooks…the ones I flip through to come up with ideas, lots of colorful pictures, sure to get the creative juices flowing.  And then finally the bottom shelf will hold all the “other” cookbooks that I’ve acquired but don’t use that much.  I mean really, the Soprano’s Family Italian cookbook???

Hoping to knock out my business plan in the next 1-2 weeks.  I researched close to 50 business plan-writing books last year and found one that I love: Business Plan in a Day. I’m struggling with it a little because I’m not focused on just one service.  I’ll be doing: personal chef, catering, cooking classes, corporate team building, etc… and each area has a different target audience, marketing initiatives, and needs.

Next project will be to get a home office set up.  Which means….pause….I actually have to clean off my desk.  The word “desk” is a little misleading, since up until now, it’s really been more of a paper-and-junk-storage-thingy.  Those who know me would agree, I’m slightly organizationally-challenged, especially when it comes to paperwork.  Which could prove challenging with my new business, since I can’t afford (literally) to have anything fall through the cracks.  That’s something I’m going to have to work on.

So, the first few days have been great and super-productive.  It doesn’t feel like I’m working, but I doesn’t feel like I’m on vacation either…  Hard to describe, but I love it so far!