“Most people thought we were pretty crazy,” says April Christiansen of her bold decision to launch a catering business with husband Rich Christiansen. “But we actually have a lot of fun together.”
And fun isn’t something they take for granted these days. Up until recently, times had been financially challenging for the southern California couple, who loved to spend every spare dime pursuing their passion of catering parties for close friends and family (at no charge). Rich, head chef at Fabrocini’s in Beverly Glen, and April, a former bartender, were famous for going all out, delivering professional-level quality, free of charge.
But all that took a back seat in 2011 when April’s wages and hours got slashed at the architectural signage company where she worked as a sales and marketing assistant. “We were making ends meet. But just barely,” she says. “We could pay our bills and not much else.”
April began to seek additional sources of income and after a few failed attempts, realized the solution wasn’t far from home. Why not profit from our passion? she thought. And so, Two Cooks in Your Kitchen – the site and the business — went live within weeks. It was a bold move that proved pretty successful. It just took having some confidence and believing your talents have value beyond just kind words and thank yous from friends. The Christiansens, in fact, found that their friends and family were more than willing to pay generously for services they once enjoyed for free. With that new found confidence, they marketed themselves online via Yelp and Facebook as personal chefs-for-hire and used April’s graphic design expertise to create postcards and business cards to further promote their new side venture.
That’s right. They still have day jobs. April has since been promoted to a commission-based sales position that gives her the flexibility to work on expanding the family business. The dynamic cooking duo’s overarching goal is to play host for a change by acquiring their own space near Studio City. ”We hope to transform Two Cooks in Your Kitchen into Two Cooks in a Kitchen,” says April. The details of their business plan — which may include event planning services and cooking classes — are still in the works.