Studies show teaching children how to cook at an early age helps with reading comprehension, fine motor skills and essential math skills, in addition to learning about nutrition and food safety. In 2015 Carmel resident Stephanie Drewry was looking for a cooking summer camp for her three children. To her dismay, she quickly realized such a camp didn’t exist.
“I have my degree in elementary education, but I had been staying home with my kids,” Drewry says. “I love working with kids, so I just decided to take a spare bedroom and turn it into a one-room cooking school called Sprouts Cooking School.”
The cooking school grew in popularity so quickly that Drewry realized she would need more space outside her home for the classes. In 2017 she moved Sprouts into a 1,400-square-foot storefront in Carmel. She says the location was ideally situated to be convenient for her clientele. As demand grew, she realized she needed to expand again. In 2022 Drewry opened a Sprouts location in Zionsville.
“The design of our storefronts is built with kids in mind,” Drewry says. “All of the appliances are residential appliances. The islands are slightly lower than normal to accommodate their height. I wanted it to feel like them cooking in their own home.”
Classes vary by age and are geared toward kids aged 3 to 13. Younger kids might make cookies while older kids are cooking spaghetti and meatballs. There are also themed classes like Harry Potter or Winter Wonderland Baking. Sprouts also offers birthday parties and summer camps.
“Birthday parties are fun because they can accommodate up to 16 kids for an hour and a half,” Drewry says. “Parties are facilitated by a teacher and a teacher’s assistant. The kids can take home whatever they make or eat after the party. Our summer camps are extremely popular and sell out very quickly. We try to be very creative with our offerings and what is trending with kids currently.”
Drewry says she’s a big fan of gifting experiences rather than tangible items. Sprouts classes make great holiday gifts. She says it’s a great way to give a gift a child can look forward to in January and February, and make memories.
“Teaching kids to cook is definitely a life skill, but it’s also about releasing your children into the world with a skill they’ll need as an adult when they’re no longer in their parents’ care,” Drewry says. “It’s great for creative kids too. Many of our clients love art, and that translates to cooking too. It also helps with picky eaters because they’re more inclined to eat something they made themselves.”
MemberChef subscriptions are available in a variety of prices and benefits. For more information, visit sproutscookingschool.com.