Before retiring, Linda Hanger was named one of the top women executives in book publishing. Kristina Scrivani was a private chef and also worked in marketing and community relations for Whole Foods Market. They shared an interest in food, shopping, all things local, vibrant personalities and – inexplicably – an interest in opening a 5,000-square-foot boutique food market-deli-cooking demonstration kitchen-whatever else. And it works. Stone Creek Kitchen in Del Rey Oaks just celebrated eight years of success.
Weekly: It’s difficult to call you small business owners.
Scrivani: It’s a large small business. We employ a lot of people.
Why do something like this?
Hanger: We felt it was really needed – a place for people who were into food. We could fill a niche.
Scrivani: Right after we opened, Linda said, “You don’t have to like to cook to come here, you just have to like to eat.” The cooking classes are to inspire everybody.
Can you really learn to cook at a cooking class?
Scrivani: Absolutely. We learned to prepare what we’re teaching tonight [sushi].
It must be hard not to shop here.
Hanger: It’s impossible. Shopping is part of the fun.
Scrivani: We’re not easy to buy gifts for anymore.
A lot of places don’t make it eight years.
Hanger: The support from the community has been massive. They understand how fragile this is.
Scrivani: We have a customer who comes in every day, if you can believe that. We close between Christmas and New Year’s and every year he comes in [after reopening] and says, “I lost my 10 pounds.” We’re incredibly grateful.