Jan Pinnington is the Founder & CEO of Healthy Hands Cooking. She is a Certified Nutritional Consultant who previously spent 26 years in the corporate communications industry developing custom programs for some of the industry’s largest retailers through her position as Account Executive and then CEO of her own boutique advertising agency for Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and Canada.
Read on to see how this mom started a successful home-based career around food.
You’ve been in business since 2012, tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
When I launched Healthy Hands Cooking in 2012, I had a vision of training thousands of instructors to teach children about nutrition and healthy cooking. That vision hasn’t changed a bit, but the processes and software platforms used to execute the business have greatly.
For example, our first website was a free site (the right price at the right time), but it was only capable of one thing — to market our training program — which then left instructors on their own to create their business websites, operational tools, payment solutions, and reporting functions.
Our second website was a significant investment that was professionally developed but ended up having limitations because no matter how we tried to make it work, it was just unable to do some of the custom functions that our instructors told us they needed.
Anticipating the growth and having a full understanding of the intricate needs of our instructors, it was time to invest in a fully custom software platform that took over a year to develop. That just recently launched in 2017.
The new software platform is nothing short of amazing and intuitively automates and manages everything an instructor needs to run an efficient business. It includes options to build their own website, a class scheduling tool, a payment portal, reporting software, a custom lesson plan creator, customized recipes, and more – and all with just a few simple keystrokes which saves our instructors time, energy, and the technical frustration of trying to do it all themselves.
In fact, our software platform is so unique and so custom to our industry, there is nothing else like it on the market. I’m super excited to say that it is now patent-pending with the USPTO and the main reason why our instructors can spend their time doing what they love (teaching cooking), instead of being buried in the mire of detailed operations and paperwork.
Do you have any special training?
I have three areas of specialty each with their own forms of training.
My 20+ year career as a corporate communications executive and advertising agency owner provided the knowledge and know-how to develop and structure the Healthy Hands Cooking instructor certification program.
My education in nutrition gave me the understanding of how foods (and fake foods) work in the body to harm or to heal, which gave me the ability to write educational nutrition content tied to each Healthy Hands Cooking class theme.
Third, my passion for cooking started when I was around seven years old and is still one of my favorite things to do. My kitchen is my happy place where I can use my creative skills to bring foods to life in a fun, easy, and flavorful way.
Over the years, you’ve done a lot of different things to grow your business, such as auditioning for Shark Tank, guest blogging, paid ads, and joining an incubator. What activities have had the biggest impact on your business?
I honestly think that, of all the tactics and strategies we have used to date, nothing has been more effective for growth than word of mouth. Many of our instructors are having phenomenal success, and their positive energy and enthusiasm are reflected in everything they do. Even though our instructors are self-employed individuals, they truly are the heart of the Healthy Hands Cooking brand and an integral part of our family and community.
How did you get involved in teaching people how to make money through healthy cooking classes for kids?
I was teaching a class of 7 – 10-year-olds and one little boy had NO CLUE that mashed potatoes were made from potatoes. He thought they could only come from a box. That was my aha moment, and I instantly realized I MUST do something to teach others to teach our children and families in other communities.
Statistics are now saying that we have two full generations of children who have been raised in homes where there is no home cooking, which leaves families to depend on packaged foods, convenience foods, manufactured foods, and fast foods — all at a cost to our health.
Healthy Hands Cooking has been my labor of love to teach others how to teach kids and families essential cooking life skills and turn their passion for cooking into a money-making career at the same time.
Healthy Hands Cooking offers a home business opportunity, tell us a little bit about it.
Anyone over the age of 18 can enroll for our self-paced cooking instructor certification training which is all done online from the convenience of a home computer.
After certification, an instructor can choose to join our membership area which then gives them the automated tools to run their business.
Through guidance in our training program, many of our instructors will partner with facilities such as schools, libraries, churches, gyms, senior centers, grocery stores, recreation facilities, and other venues to run their classes. Some even run classes from their homes depending on their needs and regulations within their counties.
What sort of individuals make good HHC Instructors?
We have a wonderful variety of backgrounds, expertise, and talents among our instructor base including corporate men, women, nutrition grads, wellness advocates, teachers, grandmothers, and more.
We have husband and wife teams, mother and daughter teams, and individuals who shine, but they all have one thing in common – a passion for cooking with real, whole foods.
Our instructors are foodies who enjoy the art of home cooking. Many of our recipes are as simple as making great tasting smoothies or scrambling eggs. We tell people if they can do that, they can become a Healthy Hands Cooking instructor because we will teach them the business side and how to earn income teaching others.
Realistically, how much money can someone earn as an HHC Instructor?
I’m thrilled to say that we already have a few instructors making $100K+ which is unbelievable in such a short time. The majority of our instructors are running classes on a part-time basis and earn a very profitable income.
For example, if an instructor taught a class of 10 students at $30/student, the revenue generated for one class is $300. When they account for groceries and supplies to run the course at around $50, it leaves the instructor with $250 net profit. So, running three classes a week is equal to $750 a week or $3,000 in income per month.
Plus, with our business model, instructors keep 100% of their income with no franchise fees or hidden fees helping to keep money in their pockets.
What are some of the benefits to being an HHC Instructor?
Oh, my goodness, where do I start? Healthy Hands Cooking is a community of passionate, positive people. Instructors have the benefit of doing what they love, making a difference in their community, and having fun with flexible classes that work around their schedules. Is there anything better than that?
What advice would you give to a new or aspiring HHC Instructor?
Don’t give up. I had zero students enroll in my first three or four classes when I started teaching back in 2011. Entrepreneurship is fun, but it’s not always easy. There will no doubt be times when an instructor faces challenges and obstacles. But remember that community I talked about? It’s REAL. And it’s available to every instructor new or seasoned. We want everyone to succeed, and we will do everything in our power to help each person achieve their goals. And I promise we won’t let anyone down. We can’t. It’s the reason we exist and why we do what we do. We’re crazy passionate about the success of our instructors because it means they are effecting change in the lives they touch through their hands-on cooking classes.
Thanks Jan for sharing your story!
If you like to find out more about becoming a Healthy Hands Cooking Instructor — click here. Or read about Kathy Trill's experience with being an HHC Instructor.
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