This week’s Ethical Marketer Interview introduces you to Rebecca Tully, Co-Founder of Kids Kitchen, an organisation passionate about inspiring adults and young children to enjoy cooking great food together.
If you would like to watch the FULL video interview. Click Here.
Here is her story.
Tell Us More About Kids Kitchen
We cook with under 5’s and their adults and its all about inspiring young children and adults to cook food together and enjoy the experience and have fun. One of our values is specifically about having fun.
The aim is about encouraging more plant-based eating, cooking from scratch, saving money in the meantime and reducing isolation around new parenting and parents with young children.
How Did You Come Up With The Idea?
Funnily enough, I had a young child and I didn’t find early parenting particularly easy. At the time I was running a Vegbox scheme and a market stall for a cooperative that grew and sold organic vegetables, very near a café that had a space that was very much a ‘do what you like’ space and my co-founder also had a young child. My daughter was just over a year old and her son is about 6 months older and we thought ‘we want to do some cooking’.
Every time we went to a children’s centre somewhere, it was always something sweet and we thought we generally have to make 2 meals a day and it’s not cakes every day and wanted to do something different. I wasn’t so keen on cooking but Eva wanted to give it a try and I love getting people together.
We first did it with a small group of people and it was so unbelievably popular, we thought we would try it again. We did it 3 times in this community space and enlisted the help of the chef and after the 3rd time, the chef, who wasn’t a parent, said ‘That was all a bit too much’. Eva and I looked at each other and decided we didn’t need a chef, so we continued on our own and it became more and more popular.
How Many Places Have You Got Now?
We’ve got 3 hubs in the UK and each of those have various different venues. There are about 3-4 down in South East London, 2 or 3 different venues in East London, and a couple of pop-ups in Herefordshire, which is where I am now based. We also now have a couple of community members popping up and the most recent one is in Wiltshire.
How Many Participants At Each Event?
We talk about a maximum of 12 children and 12 parents, but sessions have happened with just one of each and others have happened with 30+, We have also done festivals and big day events. It’s a scalable thing where you choose how many people you want to come. The average sessions is a couple of hours with a little break in the middle and a lot of chat. It is also popular with stay at home dads which is great.
Why Was It Important To You That It Was Plant-Based Cooking?
This actually happened accidently and it stayed because it made so much sense. The space we started in was a vegan café, so we had no choice. We were already very aware that as a planet, we consume too much meat, but we are also aware that many people don’t see this as a problem. The way that food is transported is also difficult and often people don’t see how they can get over that hurdle. So, we wanted to do something that really felt natural and normal and we wanted to share how easy it is to cook veggies from scratch as a solution that is really, really cheap. It felt to us like a really good way of dealing with those issues and sourcing products that are local and that are veggies felt to us a really good way to look at the fact that we can have a system that is different. This was the big over-arching goal, but the every day reason behind it was about cheapness and food safety wise, which means we can be far more inclusive and calmer about the fact that we are cooking together and there is nothing that you worry about children putting in their mouth uncooked as most veggies you can eat raw.
What Has Been Your Biggest Success So Far?
The fact that we are still here. It’s been a tough time over the last 5-10 years for community groups and charities. A lot have fallen by the wayside. We’ve trained and given work to 15-20 other people, who otherwise wouldn’t be cooking with kids this way.
What Marketing Have You Tried?
Getting the word out locally to other groups like toddler groups and posters in the local area. There are a few ‘Things to do for parents’ Apps which we are on too. We also have products now like a £10 essentials ‘cooking with your child’ kit, a 'Kids Kitchen apron and 9 week recipe email series. We have a mailing list and can reach out to those that have attended a session. We also have a free recipe on our website so that people receive that if they join the mailing list. A new thing we tried was festival events and were pleasantly surprised at the success of these.
What Is Your Biggest Marketing Obstacle Right Now?
Getting the brand awareness out to people who haven’t attended a session is our biggest obstacle at the moment. It’s a real learning curve and hard work. We’ve been working on getting our website really clear but from an SEO perspective it’s not getting the attraction we wanted.
What ONE Marketing Tip Would You Give To A New Eco Start-Up?
Get external experts for content and copywriting. We missed that early on as we thought we could write well but getting an external person to look it over was really important.
If you would like to find out more about the amazing work they do at Kids Kitchen or are interested in getting involved then visit their website www.kidskitchen.org.uk.
I had great fun interviewing Rebecca and was really pleased to be able to give some expert tips after our interview to help them reach out to new people.
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