GLENDALE, Calif., March 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SCORE Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization that has been helping aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and small business owners since 1964. An example of SCORE making a difference in the success and viability of a small business can be seen at Chef Eric's Culinary Classroom. The cooking school has been a staple in the Los Angeles culinary scene for nearly 10 years. Its founders, husband and wife team, Eric and Jennie Crowley took the leap of faith and left their respective full-time jobs to be full-time entrepreneurs.
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Chef Eric, an experienced chef and graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America knew he had the skills, the talent and the passion to teach culinary arts, but he didn't know much about running a business. So in response to a SCORE flier they received in the mail, both husband and wife attended a workshop on how to write a business plan. After that first workshop it would take a year and a half to turn their dream of opening a cooking school into reality. During that time, with the help of SCORE volunteers, they learned everything they could about running a business.
Over time Jennie has taken a wide range of workshops offered through SCORE; everything ranging in topics from marketing 2.0, website development, accounting, financial planning, PR and social media, mobile apps, etc. The added bonus from participating in the workshops is that it fosters camaraderie among fellow small business owners and helps her stay connected to what's going on outside of her own four walls.
"It helps just to talk to other entrepreneurs. It's really important to learn about what other people are doing and not feel so alone. The connections are invaluable as well. Some of the people that lead the seminars are people that we now do business with. The workshops, mentors and networking events hosted by SCORE help create a powerful small business community found nowhere else," said co-founder, Jennie Crowley.
SCORE has an office based in Glendale, however, through partnerships with various chambers of commerce throughout the Greater Los Angeles area, their workshops are taught throughout the region. SCORE volunteers are available to provide confidential, expert business advice and mentoring at no cost. More than 130 SCORE volunteer counselors provide individual mentoring and business workshops in various locations around the Los Angeles area. Business counseling services are provided best by appointment or on a walk-in basis. Clients can continue asking for help from SCORE for as long as they like, and they can use a number of the various mentors.
"I don't have a degree in business, so the best thing for me is that I get a mini MBA through SCORE workshops and I get to pick and choose according to what is relevant to my business," said Jennie Crowley.
"They say that the hardest thing about being a success is that you have to keep on being a success. That couldn't be truer in the world of entrepreneurism. SCORE Los Angeles's mission is to be help small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship," said David Berkus, SCORE L.A. development volunteer and mentor. "We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs like Chef Eric and Jennie throughout the life of their business."
"With my wife taking these educational classes at SCORE – it gives me time and frees me up to do what I love best, teach people how to cook," said Chef Eric Crowley.
This year, The Crowleys have a lot to celebrate; they recently paid off their SBA loan, they just bought their dream home, they are celebrating 10 years in business and Chef Eric is about to publish his first cook book. The Crowley are fortunate because they get to have their cake and eat it too.
About Chef's Eric's Culinary Classroom
Chef Eric has taught professional and recreational cooking classes to thousands of students since 1999. He founded the Culinary Classroom in 2003 with his wife who brings 30 years of administrative and marketing experience to the company. Many of his past students are successful restaurant owners, chefs, caterers, personal chefs and home chefs. His cooking, catering, and teaching career is studded with accolades from students, clients, and employers. His love of gourmet food, cooking, and teaching is apparent. The school offers certification programs, recreational cooking classes, a four-week culinary basics series, children's summer cooking camps and team-building lessons for companies and private cooking parties. To learn more, please visit, www.culinaryclassroom.com.
Since 1964, SCORE has been the premier small business mentoring service in the U.S. The nonprofit association has 354 chapters nationwide and more than 13,000 working and retired business experts who volunteer their time, talents and expertise to help small business entrepreneurs succeed in starting and growing their business. SCORE operates as a resource partner with the Small Business Administration, providing entrepreneurs with ongoing mentoring and information that is vital to their success. To learn more about the SCORE L.A. chapter and how to get started, please visit us at www.scorela.org.