Today we’d like to introduce you to Gwyn Novak.
Gwyn, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
All my life, I’ve been surrounded by amazing women cooks – from grandmothers and mothers to caregivers and friends. So I suppose it was only natural that I would choose hospitality as a profession.
As a kid, I spent summers in my grandmother’s restaurant helping cook everything from cheeseburgers to crab imperial, while most Sundays were enjoyed sitting around my paternal grandmother’s dining room table.
But even then, it took me a while to decide to pursue food professionally. Ultimately, after graduating from cooking school in Baltimore, I worked in various restaurants and catering companies before starting my own business – No Thyme to Cook.
While it began as a personal chef service out of my home, it has grown into a brick-and-mortar recreational cooking school on Solomons Island – on the same piece of land my great grandfather purchased 104 years ago. We offer public and private cooking classes, wine tastings, culinary tours, guest chefs, an Airbnb, and so much more.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have really been blessed to be surrounded by an amazing team – folks who really have a passion for food and hospitality. They just want to work here.
And that makes all the difference. Without them, I could never do all that we do. But in any business, there are always struggles. My greatest challenge was literally constructing our building from the ground up.
We are on the water in Solomons and that creates its own unique set of challenges.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
At No Thyme to Cook, we are focused on engaging, educating, and always entertaining our guests with one-of-a-kind culinary experiences, whether those be cooking classes, culinary tours, wine dinners, or bourbon tastings. Food and hospitality are our passion.
When you step inside our doors, we treat you like our honored guests. We want you to walk away from the evening feeling as if you’ve learned something new, had an amazing meal, and hopefully made new friends. I am most proud of the fact that we’ve really created a foodie community in our area.
It’s so much more than just going out for dinner. We’ve also brought new life to the culinary scene which brings me real joy. We really do offer a wide array of classes from hands-on to the demonstration – pasta and sushi to murder mysteries and farm-to-table dinners.
Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
I would be lost without my Google Keep app to keep my schedule straight! As far as podcasts go, I listen to Darren Hardy every morning – his 6-minute pep talk really gives me focus.
And when it comes to business books, I would highly recommend Traction by Gino Wickman. It really helped in the formation of the back end of my business.
- Cooking Classes are $75-200/per person.
- Website: www.NoThymeToCook.com
- Instagram: @nothymetocook
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nttcook
- Twitter: @NoThymeToCook
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuLlSUWhbesoueI1SQmkoMw