San Francisco Chef Creates Business that Offers Interactive Culinary Events that Educate and Entertain
Founded on the concept that nothing brings people together better than cooking, Parties That Cook offers classic hands on cooking parties for private celebrations as well as specialized events designed for corporate team building, client entertainment and employee appreciation.
Parties That Cook Founder and CEO Bibby Gignilliat left a successful career in marketing for Williams Sonoma, to follow her culinary dream and founded her first hands-on cooking party company Gourmet Gatherings in 1999. With the company's portfolio of Fortune 500 clients growing in leaps and bounds, Gignilliat decided to refine her initial concept. In 2006 Gignilliat created her new company Parties That Cook to better serve her expanding corporate base.
A group cooking class hosted by Parties That Cook encourages teamwork and collaboration. “Our events inspire guests to connect with each other, build camaraderie and gain confidence in the kitchen,” the award winning Gignilliat observed. Parties That Cook Team Building events are customized with eight event ideas ranging from Cupcake Wars to Iron Chef-style cooking challenges. All Parties That Cook menus highlight seasonal and local ingredients and can accommodate dietary restrictions.
Gignilliat and her chefs celebrate the seasons with a selection of fresh produce and the highest quality meats for their events. Their pantry is stocked with quality ingredients – herbs, spices and staples and tasty accoutrements. The permutations are endless. The model was so successful in San Francisco that Parties That Cook has expanded to Chicago, Seattle and Portland.
Parties That Cook is the second borrower to receive a loan through San Francisco-based Pacific Community Ventures’ (PCV) Small Business Advising Integrated Lending Loan Fund (SAIL Fund). The PCV SAIL Fund is offered as part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Intermediary Lending Pilot Program (ILPP). The Fund provides debt capital and resources to high growth Bay Area businesses that create jobs and opportunities in lower income communities. The PCV SAIL loans can be made for a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $150,000.
PCV launched the SAIL Fund in 2012 as one of twenty organizations selected nationally to participate in the SBA’s ILPP. PCV builds responsible small businesses to create jobs and opportunities in lower income communities. Authorized under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the ILPP provides direct loans of up to $1 million to community organizations or intermediaries, which in turn have been used to help finance small businesses.
Parties That Cook and Gignilliat are no strangers to sharing their success with their community. Parties That Cook donates annually to over 50 non-profit and charitable organizations. Gignilliat is a board member at Women’s Initiative, which she actively supports by hosting an annual fundraiser, which raised over $17,500 in 2012, enough to put 18 women through Women’s Initiative’s class for low-income female entrepreneurs.
Parties That Cook made its largest charitable contribution to date by donating a hands-on cooking event - Cooking for a Cause benefiting Room to Read. In total, they raised $25,813 to support girls' education in the developing world, providing scholarships for 103 girls to attend school for an entire year.