Never say never…nothing can stop you if you put your mind to it.
Rowena Scherer founded eat2explore to teach her kids and kids around the world about different cuisines and countries while having fun. Rowena is a busy working mom in New York City who grew up cooking with her family in Malaysia. As her kids were growing up, she forgot the joy of taking a break and cooking with her family. She created eat2explore for families.
These fun “explorer boxes” from a dozen different countries, including Greece, Mexico, Japan, Italy and a range of other countries including the U.S., provide tools for families to cook together, learn, and dine on different cuisines and cultures from around the world. The boxes can be purchased one box at a time, or through a monthly subscription. The great part is the boxes do not include perishable products, so you can use the included ingredients and cook when you have time. They provide easy-to-follow-recipes and a shopping list to purchase proteins and vegetables of your choice, as well as including hard-to-find spices and sauces. The recipes are also easy to adapt to your kids’ experimentations. If they eat vegetarian, gluten-free or prefer beef over shrimp, the recipes encourage kids to mix it up! Kids love to learn, and each eat2explore box comes complete with explore country brochure, activity sheet, country sticker, flag pin and a fun collectible to learn more about the culture of the food they are cooking.
eat2explore works to give job opportunities to women and moms who are looking for a flexible work environment who may not be able to work otherwise.
Available at www.eat2explore.com and Amazon.
Where did the idea for eat2explore come from?
The “onion aha moment” – The idea for eat2explore came to Rowena during a family vacation in Thailand back in 2016. She discovered during a cooking class that although her kids loved to travel and try different cuisines, they couldn’t even chop an onion. Rowena felt like she had failed as a parent, as some of her fondest memories were cooking with her family as a child. After some serious soul searching during that vacation, Rowena decided that life is too short. She had a successful career on Wall Street but now it was time to pursue her true passion for food, travel, education and kids. Rowena is a French Culinary Institute-trained home chef who knows what kids love to eat and how food and culture are intertwined. What better way to experience a new country and culture than through local food? When you combine cooking and learning about a new country the journey gets even better.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically wake up at 6:45 am to get my kids ready for school. I will check my email first thing in the morning to see if there are new sales or queries from customers. I will do some work before heading to an exercise class at 8:30 am (yoga, running, spinning, weight training) for 45 min to an hour. After shower, I will head over to my co-working space at The Wing. The day is often filled with chasing new sales channels, answering calls and working on current eat2explore projects. I will always be working from home starting at 4 pm because I want to be physically there when my kids come home from school. Dinners are usually pre-made during the weekends so that it is ready to be warmed up and served when I’m back from work. I will catch up with my kids about their day during dinner, and then they will all go to their own rooms to work on their homework while I continue working on eat2explore. Sometimes I will meet my husband at a neighborhood restaurant for quiet dinner and drinks to catch up on our days. Typically the day ends at midnight.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I like to first do a quick research on the ideas by either testing it or brainstorming with my team. I don’t normally spend a lot of time on research because I feel that the best way to know if the idea works is to actually bring it to life with real people.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m excited to see that kids are now excited to learn the life-skill of cooking and learn to be more culturally sensitive, and as a results, parents are excited to teach and work with their children on these skills.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am always curious to try new things, and I never want to stop learning.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Never say never…nothing can stop you if you put your mind to it.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I am not that competitive.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Be wiling to fail and learn from the failure.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I started eat2explore as a meal kit where we provide farm fresh ingredients from Hudson Valley, but within six months I realized dealing with fresh ingredients is a nightmare and it is hard to scale. I used the opportunity to talk to my customers and listen to their feedback. What I heard was that they love my spice/sauce mixes and they love the country rotation, but they hate the stress of their fresh ingredients going bad.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A way to recycle and reduce food waste.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
An instant pot. It allows me to prep my family meal on weekend, and quickly cook them during weekday for dinner. It is all about efficiency!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Shopify. It is the most amazing software platform to run my business. Shopify captures all my orders, processes the payments, integrate with apps for recurring orders, for email marketing, for analytics, etc.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.
What is your favorite quote?
No matter who you are or what you look like, how you started off, or how and who you love, America is a place where you can write your own destiny – Barack Obama
- Be willing to fail and learn from the failure
- Make time for families
- Efficiency is key
- When you are passionate about your work, it is fun to work hard.
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