By Adam Aasen
Move over Mario Batali! A bunch of elementary school kids are coming for your spatula!
That’s the hope of Stephanie Drewry as she has opened her own cooking school for kids as young as 3 years old. It’s called Sprouts Cooking School, a licensed business she runs out of her home at 5352 Woodfield Drive N., Carmel, to help kids ages 3 to 11 learn how to make delicious creations in the kitchen.
The booming business — she sold out classes in her first few weeks — all started when the 33-year-old elementary education major was looking for a way to help her own kids indulge their love of food and cooking.
“They’re really inspired by Master Chef Junior and Cupcake Wars,” she said. “There’s this whole new generation of foodies, but no cooking schools for kids.”
She decided to transform a room in the house into a professional business space. Real elementary school tables and specially ordered plastic safety knives for children. Fully insured and ready to go, she launched in June only to find her eight-week sessions filling up fast.
“I guess I found this untapped market and it’s gotten quite big,” she said. “I’m very grateful for it.”
Under constant supervision, kids in three age groups (3 to 4, 5 to 7 and 8 to 11) make everything from cupcakes to muffins to mini meatloafs to egg frittatas. Classes each have a theme, such as the movie “Frozen,” which allowed kids to make cupcakes inspired by the snowman Olaf. It’s like arts and crafts, but edible. And it teaches kids to follow instructions and use both fine and large motor skills, depending on their age group.
She said it’s not only a great educational experience for kids, but she thinks it can help picky eaters try new foods.
“If they cook it themselves, they are more willing to try it,” she said.
If business keeps expanding, she said she’s open to the idea of working out of a brick-and-mortar building, but for now she’s happy to keep it in her home.
For more information, visit sproutscookingschool.com.