Our West End Location Is Closing August 2022
When I began the buildout at Spoonfoolery over four years ago, I envisioned a classroom like no other—a place where kids could learn all about the food they eat, how to make it, and where it comes from. The place to go for after-school classes, weekend events, school break workshops, summer camps, and even family celebrations.
For a brief time (about 18 months), I was able to do pretty much all of that here. But we were still getting our sea legs when COVID hit, and along with other food services across the country, we got shut down and had to wait for when it was safe to reopen. Pivoting to virtual classes, an online store, curbside takeout, and various other stop-gap measures helped carry the business through the first year of the pandemic. Running summer camps at full capacity in 2021 helped too. But Delta, then Omicron, followed by vaccination carding have been difficult to navigate. Staffing for only sporadic business while occupying a 1400-square-foot space is stressful, to say the least. The rising costs in food production that are affecting prices at our favorite stores and restaurants, along with being a one-woman operation for going on years now, are weighing on me in ways I did not foresee.
I also suffered an intense personal loss during this time when my father passed away in
January of this year. We were very close, spending hours on the phone over the miles during college, professional life, and especially COVID, talking news, politics, business, kids, and of course, cooking! He was our family’s central post—the guy who taught me everything I know about business. The new year began with his two-week ICU stay, a week in hospice, and then having to say good-bye on January 18.
Many of you know what a cavernous hole losing a parent puts in your heart. Getting your groove back after a loss like this takes tenacity, and much of mine was already waning after running a child-focused, brick-and-mortar food business through COVID. I know my dad’s sage advice, if he were here to dispense it, would be that sometimes, you need to power down in order to recharge.
Spoonfoolery will be closing August 5, 2022, after our last day of Summer Camp this year. My family and I are relocating to Raleigh-Durham, where we will be much closer to my mother in Northeast Florida and will have greater access to the outdoors for more months of the year. If I could run Spoonfoolery from afar, I would! But closing up shop gives me the time I need right now for my mom and kids, who didn’t get a lot of my attention the past two years. The good news is that weekly camp sessions are back this summer, so definitely register your young chef for a last hurrah with us! We promise it will be a fun- and food-filled summer as always.
Lastly, if you or someone you know is interested in taking over a full-service kitchen space for artisan food production, event hosting, or even continuing with your own cooking school (I mean, everything is here already—you could just jump in and keep the need going in Evanston!), please reach out to us. We are actively looking for a tenant to sign a new lease beginning September 1, purchase the equipment, and utilize this space preferably as close to as-is as possible! Many thanks to all who’ve returned here session after session, booked birthday parties with us, and shopped our online store. I owe you so much for helping us keep the oven on, as we weathered pandemic protocol longer than we had ever been a regular business. You made Spoonfoolery what it is today and for that, I am forever grateful that we all cooked, learned, and grew together right here in this kitchen!
Mamata Reddy, Owner/Executive Director
Spoonfoolery Creative Cooking & Baking