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Votes

La Cuisine — The Cook's Resource

<b>Owner(s): </b>

Nancy Purves Pollard

<b>Short bio:</b>

Have lived in the D.C. area for much of my life. Decided after 3 years in college, it was not for me. Worked in a variety of office jobs while planning the store.

<b>Why did you choose this particular business? </b>

I was inspired by the family meals and small restaurant meals when I was student in a German language school. My aunt was a Cordon Bleu cook who gave me cooking lessons when I was a teenager.

<b>Why did you choose to work for yourself rather than as an employee for someone else? </b>

I had an idea about cookware and ingredients which I felt was ignored by large marketers. I also wanted to create a small business in a real urban neighborhood.

<b>What have you learned from being in business? </b>

A lot! I have learned a lot about niche marketing throughout the years. Have seen the folly of large advertising campaigns that are not directed to your target.

Learned to utillize the ideas of fellow employees to better the business. I have established wonderful relationships with small suppliers and craftsmen in Italy, Germany and France.

<b>Share an anecdote of a challenging or humorous experience or biggest surprise learned from working your business: </b>

A shoplifter came back and complained that the items he stole could not be pawned off at the price on the label.

<b>What have been the advantages and/or disadvantages of operating a business in Alexandria? </b>

The advantage is living in a genuine urban neighborhood. The disadvantage has been the lack of interest by the city government to enhance quality neighborhood shops and restaurants. This is slowly changing.

<b>Manager(s): </b>

Larissa Avendano

<b>Short bio: </b>

Larissa came here via California from El Salvador as a young child. She started working at La Cuisine as a packer when she was a teenager and now manages the store. She will be handling the website and finances this year. She handles most of the European orders.

<b>Key staff: </b>

Stephanie Gorenflo handles our public relations, upcoming events, researches topical cookbooks and selects our linens from France, Ireland and the U.S.

<b>Description of services and/or products: </b>

We carry classic cookware and bakeware, shelf stable ingredients which are unusual or of extraordinary quality; topical cookbooks, functional kitchen linens, potracks and stands. And every little once in a while we find something that is hysterically funny and we can't resist!

<b>Professional affiliations/associations: </b>

Les Dames D'Escoffier