Cooking Up Books Celebrates Opening in Leesburg
Store offers classes, hands-on learning focused on cooking
Vanessa Newby has dreamed of owning a business for years.
On Saturday, the dream became a realty as she opened Cooking Up Books, a new learning studio that combines reading and cooking.
Classes and tutoring will be held weekdays and on Saturdays. Offerings include everything from special after school instruction in science, social studies and math, to cooking camps and kids cooking parties. An emphasis on healthy eating and growing your own garden will also be part of the program
During a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house held on Saturday at the shop, located at 521C East Market Street in the Bellewood Commons Shopping Center, Mayor Kristen C. Umstattd said she was "so happy that you chose Leesburg as the location of your first business."
Newby, the founder and owner, created the concept for the business out of her love for cooking and entertaining, combined with more than 30 years of experience as an educator.
She has traveled extensively throughout the world while her husband served in the military, but "this has been a dream for years. We have always wanted to open a business,” said Newby, who has a bachelor’s degree in speech and language pathology and a master’s degree in special education.
Author and illustrator of New York Times best-selling series “The Dork Diaries” Rachel Renee Russell and her daughter Nicki also attended the Saturday event. They have donated a set of books for the Cooking Up Books library and were on-hand to sign books.
She's also in the process of completing her doctorate in education leadership.
"The Newby family are all part of the business and have been very supportive and hands-on helping me. With our whole team, we covered all the basis for opening Cooking Up Books,” Newby added.
For photos from the event, click through our gallery above.