THE PAMPERED CHEF:
THE STORY OF ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST BELOVED COMPANIES
by Doris Christopher
(Currency Books - 2005)
book review was written from the perspective of one who has
been a Pampered Chef customer, a one-time Pampered Chef
hostess and as woman who has faced the challenges of starting her own
I knew that this kitchenware company was successful, but
I had no idea how how much so until I read this book,
The Pampered Chef. Although
the company was initially started in 1980 in a Chicago
suburb, I didn't hear of it or attend my first party (in
Texas) until sometime in the early 1990s. By that
time, it was along way from it's roots.
It was an easy read--I read the entire book at bedtime in
only two nights. The author has written this book in
an easy, friendly style, and if she repeats a scenario or
two in different chapters of the book, it doesn't really
matter. She's an entrepreneur, after all, not an
I enjoyed the book from the perspective of a small
businesswoman because it provides hope - it's always good to
see how others succeed in their endeavors and success
stories are always inspiring.
I could relate when I read of her experience as a
housewife making her way around the intimidating Chicago
Merchandise Mart searching for inventory in the beginning,
worried about being exposed as a fraud -- as someone who
didn't belong there. Although she didn't quite put it
into these words - "fake it til you make it", that's how
I enjoyed reading the behind-the-scenes look at the
details and logistics of running a small business from one's
own home--one that
grew and grew far beyond any initial expectations.
She reiterated again and again that organization is key
to a successful business.
As an attendee of Pampered Chef home parties, I found
that I enjoyed attending for exactly the reasons that she
planned. The parties were fun, there was no high
pressure selling and I did learn something about cooking and
preparing new recipes. Those were part of her goals,
philosophies and policies and they worked, just as she had
hoped they would.
Although I had no aspirations to become a Kitchen
Consultant, I did host one party. That is saying quite
a bit as over the years I have resisted the stubborn efforts
of many friends, relatives and co-workers to recruit me to
host home parties promoting a variety of products. But
it was fun, it was easy and I did get some nice Pampered
Chef products for my efforts.
It was interesting to read
of the women, and eventually men, who did take to the
concept and to read at how successful they became.
It was only towards the end of the book that I felt the
old familiar sales spiel of how great it was to be a consultant and
how high one could climb in the organization that is so
reminiscent of other direct marketing companies and to me,
so off-putting. Other than the very end of the
book, which might very well appeal to others, I thought 98%
of the book was informative and enjoyable.
Get your own copy of
The Pampered Chef by Doris
You will find reviews of both new books and out-of-print