Food Entrepreneur Kara Johnson
The entrepreneur is the founder of The Cook Shop, a delicious line of Creole and Cajun seasonings named after the restaurant her great, great grandmother owned in the early 1900s.
Kara Johnson grew up surrounded by amazing cuisine, music, art and architecture in the historical city of New Orleans. She also grew up surrounded by women who made every day magical in the kitchen.
“As a little girl, I was really fascinated with cooking and food and like having a cooking show. And so I would go into the kitchen and make up recipes and act like I was, I don’t know, Julia Child or somebody like that,” she recalls about her childhood days. However, professionally she followed the path of law, attending law school.
Her journey to become a food entrepreneur was actually initiated by the request of her teenage son who preferred home cooked meals to eating out. When she began making some her family’s cherished dishes, she noticed the extra work of bringing all spices together and was left with the idea of bringing them together within a special blend. “I just got the idea to put everything together so that it would be a lot easier on me. And I have a friend who is a chef and we have been a friends for about 20 years and I called him and I told him what I wanted to do.”
Her seasonings that are branded under The Cook Shop are vegetable and herb-based with only about 2% sodium. When ready for others to try, they were an immediate hit, especially with the owner of the regional grocery chain Rouses being among the first show interest.
But Kara is the first to admit that it was learn as you go which can sometimes be a good thing or a bad one as she shares more in this conversation.