Today we’d like to introduce you to Sara Frost.
Sara, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It is so nice to be chatting with Voyage LA again! ‘Spooning With Sara’ has grown so much in the last year and I am really proud of where we’re at right now, even despite COVID.
The story of ‘Spooning With Sara’ begins in January of 2018 when I started throwing small dinner parties out of my friend’s living room. We would meet for a home-cooked meal on Wednesday nights in an attempt to break up the monotony of the workweek. Good food, good company. Simple.
By the third month, the ritual of Wednesday nights changed to Saturday nights. Eight friends soon became thirty. We bought new (Ikea, folding) chairs and new friends shared a seat at our table. Our menus expanded as fast as our appetites did and unique musicians brought beautiful life into our living rooms. ‘Spooning With Sara’ pop-ups became an escape from whatever was ‘going on’ that week; a comforting nook full of delicious food, conversation and creativity.
In June of 2019, I started working for a professional caterer in the mornings in order to really up my skill level in the kitchen. My learning curve was super steep and the hours and work itself were really tough, but I found myself obsessed. By the end of 2019, I had thrown 25 + full-production, 30-40 person dinner parties with a musical performance following every meal. I started monetizing from the pop-up dinners and began taking on catering, private cheffing and event-planning gigs, managing all producing aspects for events, from menu to vendors.
Since then, I’ve continued to grow my client base in both LA and NYC, focusing primarily on intimate dinner parties and weekly private-cheffing for families. 2019 also took me abroad to Greece, Canada & the Bahamas as I was hired by families to be their private chef on their family vacations. Since January 2020, I’ve also included a meal-delivery service for L.A, creating and delivering families and singles 3-7 meals per week. Additionally, I’ve started working part-time with The Culinistas, a service that connects private chefs with clients in both NYC and Los Angeles.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Most definitely NOT. The first few years of the business really proved to me that as much as I tried to plan and control aspects of my life and business, there is truly so much that is out of my control. 2019 was the year of ‘yes’ for me. I took on jobs that were way beyond what I thought I was capable of.
I said yes to cooking for a family I had never met in Greece for two weeks. I had to navigate how to shop, plan and cook breakfast, lunch and dinner in small fishing village where I did not speak the language and no locals spoke more than a few words of English.I said yes to taking on more weekly meal-delivery clients than I thought I could handle. Saying yes was at times absolutely terrifying, but I knew these were opportunities I couldn’t pass by. I always figured it out and I never regretted any of those gigs.
If a client or a project interests me and I have a feeling that I can learn so much from an opportunity, I say yes and I don’t overthink it. There have been countless mistakes, difficult clients and weeks of very little sleep, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Spooning With Sara story. Tell us more about the business.
I have been really proud of how I’ve adapted my business since the start of COVID. I had to halt my meal-delivery service around mid-March, letting six weekly clients go. From there, dinner parties, bachelorette parties and birthday parties that I had booked for March, April, May and June all started getting canceled. I had two weeks of feeling completely devastated and confused. There had barely been a week in the last two years that I hadn’t cooked for people and I was feeling really lost.
I started investing more time in my Instagram, answering people’s cooking questions and posting more of my recipes than I usually have time for. I was feeling more and more like myself by fully investing my time into the community that is Instagram. My need to serve and nurture others was somewhat being fulfilled.
Then I had the idea for virtual cooking classes that I could teach via Zoom. Instead of simply answering my follower’s questions about how they should stock their pantries or what substitutions they could make on my recipes, why not get to actually know these people and share a more intimate experience with them? Since March 29th, I’ve been teaching friends, family and strangers how to cook a few recipes via virtual cooking classes. Now, I am teaching 4-7 classes a week which has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve never really taught before, and especially not virtually, but I’ve been absolutely loving it. Some of the classes are one-on-ones, some are with families, some are with kids and there have even been ‘surprise party cooking classes’ with up to 18 people!
The classes have been such a fun learning experience and I will definitely continue to do the private cooking classes even when things return back to normal.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I feel like luck has played into life a ton. Really is has been through the people I’ve met in the past few years who have helped me grow and expand my business. There was Emilie Dodge and Alessandra Cecconi with whom I founded a boutique rental company with, Jonathan Gorski who has been a friend and mentor for me in the event world, the KED & Co team who have taught me so much about the wedding-planning world and most recently Caton Dubensky with whom I’m starting my most recent project.
All of these people, and many more, I met quite randomly and without whom, I wouldn’t be where I am today. These are people who I’ve connected with on both a business and personal level and who have taken me under their wing and brought me into the fold of really incredible projects.
I’m extremely excited about my newest project that I’m taking on with my partner, Caton. She and I got connected in February and quickly bonded over our interest in women’s health, food and self-care. Caton had an idea for an organization and brand that would focus on battling the current lack of knowledge and stigma surrounding women’s vaginal health. She brought me in to oversee the connection between food nutritional and women’s health.
We are in midst of building a dinner series and community called ‘The V- Collective’, with the main mission of unraveling stigma and restoring balance. Although our plans for the dinner series have been put on hold due to COVID, we have launched an Instagram and are in the process of building the website so that we can virtually kick-start the conversation surrounding vaginal health. Check us out @the.v.collective
- Website: www.spooningwithsara.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @spooningwithsara & @the.v.collective
Jacob A. Lyle, Dylan Hancock, Sara Frost