Welcome to the first interview of NewsforChews! I have been planning on incorporating interviews into NewsforChews content for awhile because there are so many interesting individuals and brands in our world, and I want to give you an inside look into them! I am beyond excited to start my interviews off with Ellen Bennett from Hedley & Bennett. I’ve been watching this brand from afar for some time and within this time, the brand has already catapulted to success.
The brand features aprons for adults and children, chef coats, chef hats, bartender aprons, bistro aprons, pot holders, and napkins that range in price from $14 for a napkin to $145 for a chef coat. I actually included an apron in my Kitchen Holiday Gift Guide just a few months ago, but sadly didn’t receive one for Christmas. Maybe for my birthday!
Chances are if you peer into a professional kitchen, you will see at least one Hedley & Bennett product. And if you don’t, you will soon see every kitchen staff member wearing the brand, and even beyond the kitchen.
Proof of this is Kids Baking Championship on the Food Network channel. Every baker was adorned in a different H&B apron. Also, I was at one of LA’s most popular restaurants earlier this week (Terrine) and the chef and staff were chad in H&B aprons and coats. In addition, where I work during the day, even the downstairs barbers wear them! The H&B website lists chefs such as Richard Blais (Juniper & Ivy), Nancy Silverton (Mozza), Vinny Dotolo (Animal), David Chang (Momofuku), and Mario Batali (Babbo) as wearers of the brand. These are some of the most talked about and successful restaurants and chefs in the business. So, as you can see the brand is taking over, which is exactly what former chef Ellen Bennett wants! Read below for our complete interview and also be sure to check out the images of Hedley & Bennett‘s amazing office, which features a slide and a zip line. Yes, a ZIP LINE!!!!
And lucky for you LA peeps, Hedley & Bennett is having an amazing sample sale next weekend. They are slashing prices to as low as $20 and teaming up with a dozen of their friends who will also be selling their goodies.
Sample Sale Information:
WHEN: Saturday, February 27, 10am – 2pm
WHERE: Hedley & Bennett HQ – 3864 South Santa Fe Avenue, Vernon CA 90058
WHY: Shop for styles for as low as $20! Eat, drink & hang out at the most talked about playground of a fun factory in town! Bring the kids!
HOW: Bring your appetites. Bring some cash. Bring yourself. Parking available in our lot.
Introduce yourself to the NewsforChews readers:
Founder and Designer of Hedley & Bennett
28 years old
Born & raised in Los Angeles
When did you start Hedley & Bennett?
I started H&B in 2012, 3 1/2 years ago as a line cook at a 2 Michelin star restaurant in Los Angeles called Providence. I set out to revolutionize my own uniform but shortly realized that the whole uniform for chefs and in restaurants had been overlooked for so long I set out to have the best American Made apron company.
Why did you start H&B?
I set out to revolutionize my own uniform but shortly realized that the whole uniform for chefs and in restaurants had been overlooked for so long I set out to have the best American Made apron company.
Where did the name Hedley & Bennett come from?
A combination of my grandfather’s last name (Hedley) and my last name (Bennett).
What makes H&B products different than similar products on the market?
Every apron is handmade with love in the USA. We hand pick really beautiful, unique fabrics like selvage denims from Japan and Italy. We make all of our aprons comfortable and functional. We wear them, wash them and put them through the ringer to make sure they are durable enough for our chefs.
What is one surprising thing that you have learned through founding H&B?
It’s an adventure every freaking day. While you are in the midst of it, you don’t always realize what’s happening. But I am very grateful for all the people who love and support our product and our dream and mission. It’s extremely gratifying to get to come to work every day and get to build your dream. It’s absolutely the hardest thing I’ve done so far. But life is an amazing thing! I believe in living it to the fullest. I can’t imagine living it in any other way right now, I love a challenge and always have. I like to pack it in because life is too short to not.
What future plans to do you have for H&B?
To be a household name around the world and to be iconic as the best, functional, amazing and awesomely designed workwear for all chefs, artists and makers in the world!
What advice or tips do you have for entrepreneurs?
That it’s bullshit and there is no such thing as being too young! I started this company in my living room with nothing but an idea. I had no investors and no one to say this is a good idea or not. I just went with it! You can too!
What do you do in your spare time?
Cooking, painting, playing with my chickens and our new mini pig (!), cleaning my back yard and reorganizing my kitchen. That’s my kind of day off.
Where is your favorite place to travel and where is the next place to travel?
Cuba! I went last year and had the best time! Kentucky and Montana (states I’ve never been to) and then to Holland to see the tulips!
You have 15 minutes in the kitchen…what do you make?
Probably a stir-fry because I always have rice on hand. And I have chickens who make me lots of eggs and I always throw in some veggies! So it’s like a grain bowl stir fry scramble with lots of bright veggies!
Do you have a mantra or a quote that you live by?
If the front door is closed climb through the window.
Wake up and fight!