Nibblins of Rutherford Crossing
Nibblins of Rutherford Crossing
Years ago Nibblins started out as a cart inside the Apple Blossom Mall, now grown Nibblins has it’s very own storefront in Winchester large enough for a kitchen supply and food shop, and a full demonstration kitchen. This kitchen allows the chefs at Nibblins to hold cooking classes for every level and age of cook. Cooking classes are held throughout the week with seasonal and holiday specials. Along with the kitchen, Nibblins store has a variety of kitchen products and gourmet foods. For anything food and kitchen related, Nibblins is the place to go.
Owner: Susan Dolinar
Learning with Susan Dolinar: Owner of Nibblins in Winchester, Virginia
“We offer classes for all ages, where there is an interactive demonstration. The instructor will do most of the work, and they will call on volunteers to help do certain things. So there is enough hands-on to understand the process.”
Susan Dolinar was born in Cleveland, Ohio where she was 1 of 5 children growing up. Cooking was her escape and she found her muse in baking. She took classes at L’academie De Cuisine and holds a certificate from the American Institute of Baking. Susan is the owner of Nibblins which began as a cart in the Apple Blossom mall for 8 years as a baking business. Now, Nibblins is a retail cooking store with kitchen goods and appliances, gourmet sweets and coffee, and plenty of cooking classes to offer which is located in Winchester, VA just off of exit 317 off route 81. Susan loves teaching classes to those who are willing to learn and there’s always a class available. Get crafty with Nibblins this Spring and see what you can create!
Our interview with Susan of Nibblins
Has there always been a lot of cooking in your household?
“I love to bake; my husband and I when we first met loved to go out to eat. We use to many years ago record shows and try out different dishes. I’ve always loved to cook. We use to throw parties when we lived in St. Louis for many years where we enjoyed going out to restaurants and we loved going out when we lived in Parkersburg, West Virginia, we found a lot of restaurants so we started cooking.”
What is your education related to restaurant management and culinary?
“I am a CPA by background, as far as culinary I have taken classes at L’academie De Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I also hold a certificate from the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan. Watching things like the food network, I can remember when it started out as food TV, and all of the people who are now guests on a lot of the shows are who I use to watch cook. We would record many different shows and try them out.”
Tell me about your career path. How did you get your start?
“I went for my accounting, and after I turned 40 my husband encouraged me to open my business. We started out with a cart in the Apple Blossom Mall as a baking business for 8 years. Where we have our location now we’ve been here for 4 years, the mall was looking for a cooking store, so that’s what we opened.”
Owning my own food business…
What sparked your interest in owning rather than cooking on your own?
“We wanted to own a bakery and we have gadgets that you can’t find anywhere else, so we kind of went that route to try and supply people with gadgets. About five years ago we started out teaching classes where people can learn different techniques with the gadgets.”
I see that you have baked goods for sale, what inspired you to want to bake?
“Well I have my certificate, and I learned a lot of cooking on my own. I’ve always loved baking it something that I used to do when I was younger with my mom.”
What is the hottest gadget trend?
“Anything to do with grading and knives, anything that makes it easier to chop and grate. Also manual food processor’s they’re becoming all electric.”
Tell us about the cooking classes…
I see that you have cooking classes at Nibblins, tell me a little about that.
“We offer them for all ages, where there is an interactive demonstration. The instructor will do most of the work, and they will call on volunteers to help do certain things. So there is enough hands-on to understand the process. For example, when I teach a dough class I want you to know what the dough should look like and feel like. In June we will be enjoying having some talented chefs, we will be having former White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier to talk and share his experience at the White House as well as sign his book. Later in June we will be having Sarah Molten who will be teaching a class and do a book signing.”
What types of cooking classes do you teach?
“Children’s classes and baking classes. I teach a Danish class where I am teaching how to make different types of Danish, and a pie class. My husband teaches many different classes and we have a few other employees who teaches a lot of different classes.”
What has been your greatest professional success?
“We received a small business of the year award in 2013 from the top of Virginia Regional Chamber of Commerce”
What are some of the challenges of being a business owner?
“Oh goodness staffing, ordering, getting people to understand that we don’t have a big warehouse where we can just grab from stuff every day, that we have to wait until we can order from vendors. I often joke that I don’t need to go to Las Vegas when I gamble every day, trying to figure out what it is that everyone wants”
Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, your career, or the profession that would be interesting or helpful to others?
“Cooking is fun, to just enjoy food. We want to make it be fun, let’s face it some days it’s great to have a nice hamburger and other days it’s nice to have a fancy meal. It all depends on what you’re in the mood for.”