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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Apr. 14, 202005:20 AM EST

JAX Cooking Studio turns to takeout

Owner Terri Davlantes launches a new business model to keep revenue flowing.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

With her Beach Boulevard location closed for classes, JAX Cooking Studio owner Terri Davlantes needed to find a new way to keep her business stirring.

To-go orders seemed like the best bet. She had a kitchen, chefs and food. The rest of what she’d need – packaging, labels and menus – could be found in a quick trip to Restaurant Depot. 

In less than two weeks, Davlantes and her staff set up a takeout business, which so far has been “slow but steady.” The challenge is letting people know her cooking studio is a source of meals for their families.

“It’s like creating a whole new business model within a two-week period,” she said. “And because we have such a small crew we didn’t have the time to develop those other revenue sources. So it’s given us an opportunity to stand back and say, what else could we be doing to bring in some revenue?”

Davlantes introduced catering over Easter weekend and said it went “great.” 

Some of those who bought meals weren’t previous customers of the cooking studio and Davlantes said she hopefully generated new customers for when her cooking classes can resume.

In addition to the holiday catering services, Davlantes said she’s considering virtual cooking classes for a fee. For now, she added free online cooking classes as a service to those stuck at home.

Davlantes discounted summer camp registration by $20 in hopes more parents will sign up their children.

She furloughed one of her two chefs and cut hours for two dishwashers, while giving them other tasks to keep them busy. 

Davlantes had six total employees before the pandemic began. She applied for an SBA loan, but overall, said “we’re just trying to make ends meet at this point.”

“We’re trying to focus on the positive and adapt on a dime. As a new business we’re pretty good at adapting,” she said.

Davlantes opened JAX Cooking studio in 2018 at 14035 Beach Blvd. Her goal was to teach people how to cook healthy foods, and help those with chronic conditions see how food can help them.

Having had careers as a nurse, attorney and Jacksonville University program director, Davlantes wanted to start a business that blended her skills in health care and program development.

Her advice to other business owners is to stay positive and adaptable.

“If it doesn’t work, you scrap it and move on,” she said. “It’s a strange time and you have to figure out what is going to make the lives of the consumers easier right now.”


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