CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- One woman is using her passion for working with children and her love of cooking to inspire others.
"You have to have a passion because if you do not have a passion for what you want to do as an entrepreneur, you will not make it," Victoria Luckey said.
Luckey loves cooking and working with children. Her business connects both of her passions, bringing her entire family joy.
"If you love what you're doing, it's kind of weird, because that passion rises up in you. And it kind of hits like an adrenaline kicking. Like if you're playing sports, you're like, oh my gosh, I love this. I'm exhausted but I'm gonna still do this," Luckey said.
She and her husband Romell Luckey own Victoria's Cooking School in North Chesterfield, and run the operation with their three young daughters by their side.
"We teach ages two years old all the way through 18. That's our main focus. But we also do adult classes and a lot of special needs classes for special needs children and adults," Luckey said.
The classes started in 2016 after Victoria lost her corporate job.
"It ended up being a blessing in disguise. So I'm also an English major, so I love reading so I would always take my toddler to library time and I was like, what is something else, you know, kids can do? She cooks with me in the kitchen. And I was like, I love kids. I love teaching. So how about we start a kids cooking school?"
She started teaching in public schools in Central Virginia. In 2020, she opened her brick-and-mortar business.
"Like I can't believe we have it. It's just astonishing to me," Luckey said.
Here, kids are hands-on mixing, measuring, chopping cooking and baking.
"We're not only teaching them the life skill of cooking but we intertwine academics such as reading the recipes, writing the recipes, creativity and they're also learning how to do teamwork. And we also teach them the history behind the cuisines they make. And also we teach them food science. So the science behind the food. We got a lot of kids who say, I want to be a master chef," Luckey said.
The Luckey's took a calculated risk when they opened their school.
"We don't do anything without talking about it and planning for that is the number one thing we always strive to do," Romell Luckey said.
The two have found themselves reaping the rewards.
"The first year in business, we made a profit. The second year of business, we made a good profit. And then that two and a half year, three-year mark, he was able to leave his full-time job and work full time with Victoria's Kitchen," Luckey said. "I was working in corporate America was I felt like I was in a matrix. Just always trying to hit these numbers. You just wake up and be like, I got to do it all over again. But you don't feel like you're going anywhere at times."
The family said their greatest pleasure is watching the young chefs prepare and enjoy their cuisine.
"You have to have that motivation. You have to have that passion.
They hope to create many more little cooks in the future.
"I hope to see a second Victoria's Kitchen location," Luckey said.