At Living Light we are always totally amazed at what our graduates accomplish in the world. They are motivated, resourceful, dedicated, and ready to make a difference! Here is a sample of what two of our students, each of whom has chosen her own way of exploring our curriculum, have been able to accomplish with tools and information they have acquired at our school.
Whether you have completed all of the Gourmet Raw Food Chef Certification™ training and all of the advanced classes, or are just starting out on your raw food journey, we are proud to say that our graduates make healthy living delicious all over the world. We hope to include a regular feature on our graduates accomplishments and inspiring stories in upcoming newsletters and on our website.
This month’s Living Light graduate success story is a sweet one! Jodee Capo received her Associate Chef certification when Living Light was still located at Harbin Hot Springs. The year was 2004, and Living Light was still a self-described “gypsy culinary school.” In those days, it took 17 people three days to set up a classroom and kitchen at Harbin several times each year. Those were fun times, and many of our students formed strong friendships with each other in those early days, as they continue to do!
Jodee was inspired, and knew she wanted to continue living the new lifestyle she learned at Living Light. After we opened our permanent location in Fort Bragg, Jodee joined us again, with the specific intention of learning how to set up a professional kitchen and café. It was then that she found her passion in desserts. Cherie mentored Jodee closely, and she learned skills that she would need to eventually set up her own professional kitchen as a business owner.
“Harbin planted the seed for me, and when I worked with Cherie and the staff at Living Light in Fort Bragg, I knew I wanted to explore what I could do as a person – what I could accomplish on my own.”
She went back home to El Secundo, CA and rented a kitchen space at a coffee shop, where she did catering for a variety of people, including for movies on location. She sold her desserts and savory dishes, and gained valuable experience in the process. After that she catered for private clients and did energy work for a few years. “It took a long time to decide which way to go, since I had my two passions: raw food and energetic healing.”
After living in California for nearly 30 years, Jodee felt drawn back to the Northwest – to her original hometown of Seattle, WA. It was a huge leap of faith, but Jodee and her husband moved to Seattle and it paid off -- she was hired right away at Thrive where she worked for nearly a year as a dessert chef. “People came from all over to get my desserts – it was very validating that I was doing the right thing.”
After Thrive, she rented a kitchen space to create products for the wholesale market, with an emphasis on her increasingly popular desserts. The owner of the Laughing Ladies Coffee Shop where she rented her space ended up losing nearly 50 pounds when Jodee introduced her to juicing. The shop then hosted the International Day of Juice Feasting for two consecutive years. With years of experience testing her recipes, Jodee felt ready to spread her wings and start her own business.
“Luckily, my husband has been very supportive throughout this whole process. We took a risk and invested the money from the sale of our home to open Jodees Desserts in the Green Lake area of Seattle. It’s a very wellness and health conscious area of the city, and very peaceful around the lake. Perfect for our business, and perfect for me to be closer to nature. We found the ideal location in just the right area, the right size, and the right price!”
Jodee’s Desserts opened on Valentine’s Day one year ago. “I’ll have to admit that the first year in retail is a bit challenging, but the year of exposure has really helped us with the wholesale aspect of our business – it’s amazing.”
We market our products as fresh, organic desserts – “all of the flavor with none of the guilt.” is our tagline. Our goal is to reach a mainstream audience with our delicious desserts. So you see, thanks to Living Light, that little seed planted at Harbin has kept growing all of these years!”
Visit Jodee’s website: www.jodeesdesserts.com