“One day, I’m going to write a book.”
It’s a classic dream.
And for most, it remains a dream.
But with Temech behind her, Menuchah Armel moved from dream to published cookbook in just a year.
Menuchah’s been cooking since she was a teenager and catering for 15 years.
“I do everything but weddings,” she says. “Brissim, bar mitzvos, Shabbosos etc.”
And that’s just the beginning.
Menuchah also occasionally cooks for yeshivos and seminaries.
She offers cooking workshops for women’s events and demos for bas mitzvah parties.
And she gives cooking classes for home cooks.
“Over the years, I figured out so many shortcuts and tips for cooking for crowds and at hectic times — think: three-day Yom Tov. In my classes, I teach these practical skills.”
But these side gigs are relatively recent, and what jumpstarted it all was her cookbook.
Menuchah’s first contact with Temech was at their yearly conference.
“I wanted to increase my income and expand my reach, and the idea of networking excited me.”
She went and made some connections. Then, two years ago, she joined a networking group in her hometown of Kiryat Sefer.
“Many clients and friends had approached me and asked me to create a cookbook, but I didn’t know where to start,” she admits.
“I wrote a list of what I might include but never got past that.”
The Temech group was held in the same building as a business consultant, Toby Rot. She offered the Temech attendees a discounted rate.
“I took Toby for a session, and she was unequivocal: if I wanted to have the name recognition that would lead to other gigs, I needed to publish a cookbook.”
She had the dream; she had the impetus. But she needed support.
“Leora Gruen, our group leader, and the group members became my cheerleaders.
“Everyone believed in me, and that gave me courage. Somehow, it was happening: I was creating a cookbook.”
Menuchah hired a writer to rewrite the recipes from her notes, a graphic artist to do the layout, and a food photographer to style and photograph the food.
“Straight to the Plate,” a beautiful cookbook with over 100 mouth-watering, wholesome recipes, went to print in September 2022.
“My goal was to offer recipes that don’t take much time, don’t need expensive or hard-to-obtain ingredients, and yield impressive results.”
Throughout the process of creating and marketing the book, Menuchah gained skills from the group.
“Temech taught me about goal-setting, pricing, networking. I learned how to craft an elevator pitch and market myself.
“But more than that, the support and encouragement were needle-moving. This cookbook wouldn’t have happened without Temech.”
“Before I went to Temech, I just saw myself as a little person in the big world of business. Today, I view myself as a proud business owner who can navigate and impact that world.”