When Debra Erickson lost most of her vision, she researched
ways to stay independent. Debra’s venture, The Blind Kitchen
helps the blind and visually impaired. Read how Jackie helped her move forward.
Name of business: The Blind Kitchen
What the business does:
Provides adaptive kitchen tools, knowledge, and strategies to blind and low vision cooks to cook safely, confidently, and independently. The Blind Kitchen (TBK) has assembled 4 “Collections” of adaptive items. These items will be mailed to TBK member homes, one per month for 4 months, containing 15-19 unique items in each “Collection”. Each item has its own short tutorial video. The video tells what the item does and why it is blind-friendly. The videos also tell how to use each tool, and how to care for and store the item. Additionally, there are videos that offer other knowledge and strategies. not connected to the tools. These will be regularly added to The Blind Kitchen Library to further advance independent cooking goals for cooks with vision loss.
Years in business: Plan to open in August 2022!
What led you to start The Blind Kitchen?
After losing the majority of my usable vision, I looked high and low for information and tools to help me live with more confidence and remain independent. I elected to attend culinary school (the only blind student) and faced many culinary problems. I found information in many places: books, websites, videos, etc. However, there was no organized source of information for all things related to cooking with vision loss such as how to cut and chop safely, use oven and stovetops safely, how to “read” and operate flat-screen control panels, organize a kitchen and pantry, how to label items how to shop, obtain and read recipes, dine out, etc. The Blind Kitchen is an organized collection of blind-friendly adaptive tools, knowledge, and strategies.
While The Blind Kitchen has not launched yet, what is helping it along?
I have an excellent team helping to make this idea a reality, and I consider Jackie a consulting member of this team. I also have a supportive partner and other family members and friends who constantly check in on me and offer to help in any way they can.
What class did you take from Jackie?
The SBA introductory class to starting a business.
Three things learned from Jackie that helped you start a business that helps visually impaired cooks:
- I trusted her as a successful businesswoman and teacher, and when she confirmed that the idea was workable, it gave me the confidence to move forward.
- She has been an incredible resource for connecting me with other small business professionals who embrace my vision and help me to make it a reality.
- She gave me tools to help organize my thoughts and ideas into a business plan.
Learn how Debra Erickson’s The Blind Kitchen helps visually impaired cooks:
Read about other solo businesses like Debra Erickson’s Jackie has guided: https://www.bettersmarterricher.com/wisdom-blog/