A Note From Switchin’ Kitchens Founder, Rachel Basile
Growing up in a rural area outside of Buffalo, NY, my two favorite things were cooking and sewing. I came from a “foodie family,” but I chose to pursue sewing as my career. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in apparel and textiles from Buffalo State College, and then earned an Associate’s Degree at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. I graduated in 1986, married my husband in 1990, and we established roots together in the New York/New Jersey area. And in 1997, my husband and I relocated to Charlotte, NC with my then employer, Springs Industries.
After our move, I experienced a lot of personal turbulence with great highs and great lows. We had our first child, Cody, in Nov. 1998, and then I lost my mother to cancer in June 2001. My second son, Kyle, was born six months later, and my father passed suddenly due to a heart attack in Feb. 2002.
Losing my parents was heart-breaking and I found myself no longer happy in the industry in which I was working. I needed a change and I wasn’t in love with textiles anymore, but I “didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.”
I stayed with Springs Industries for a few more years, however I was very unhappy. The thought of quitting the textile industry after 20 years was nerve-wracking without a new plan in place.
I decided to look to God for help. I had abandoned going to church when life had gotten too crazy with work, kids and, well, life. My family and I found a wonderful church in Matthews called Threshold, and the team there recommended the book The Purpose Driven Life, written by Rick Warren.
After reading it, I knew what my “purpose” was. I knew I wanted to do something with food, I knew I wanted to make people happy, and I knew I wanted to empower people to do things they didn’t think they could do. However, I just didn’t know what that “something” was. With that, I waited… and waited… and waited.
About a year later, I took my three-year-old to a birthday party and learned about a business called Dream Dinners. I had never heard of it and, frankly, I personally had no need for it.
My husband and I were meal planners. We planned our menus, shopped on Saturdays, prepared meals for the week on Sundays, and we were set! That’s how I had grown up, and I had thought that’s how everyone did it. I later learned this was not the case and that most people were panicking at 5 p.m. and were either rushing to the store to figure out what to cook or were picking up take-out.
Several weeks after learning about Dream Dinners, I was at another birthday party (same place, different families) and several parents were involved in a very electrified conversation. As one mom asked me if I’d “done it” before, I realized she was talking about Dream Dinners. While watching these folks gush over how wonderful it was to be at the table, enjoying dinner and not having to stress over prepping the meal, the light bulb went on! I had found my purpose!
I looked into several franchises and, for whatever reason, I encountered multiple roadblocks and I simply couldn’t make things happen. A friend suggested the concept of starting independently and that’s when Switchin’ Kitchens was born. I quit my job of 15 years in December 2005, and opened the doors of Switchin’ Kitchens on September 14, 2006, with no regrets.
I love seeing people smile after they’ve made the “switch.” I love hearing about how happy husbands (and moms!) are with our meals and I LOVE hearing that kids are giving us a “thumbs up!” It’s my wish that you’ll give us the opportunity to help make a difference in your family too! Order online or stop in and let us help you make the switch!