Today we’d like to introduce you to Shakti Baum.
Shakti, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I got started in this crazy business many moons ago. My first job, at 15 was as a car hop at Sonic. Good times.
As far as my cooking career, I was living on an ashram studying yoga and spending my spare time working in the kitchen. I fell in love with food, and before you knew it I had a career. After that things just evolved. Raw foods in Maui, Pastry and Baking in Oakland, touring with bands for a hot second as a vegetarian chef, then I ended up back in Houston opening a series of restaurants for the Creek Group. In between openings, I would head out on adventures in Mexico and The Cayman Islands, working as a seasonal chef. At a certain point I was ready to settle down and grow roots so I came back to the Creek Group for a few years with the intent, always in the back of my mind to branch out on my own. I wasn’t sure how that looked but I threw the dream out into the universe and eventually Etta’s was born. Etta’s is short for Henrietta, my mom’s name.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think realizing your dreams is ever smooth. It’s paved with challenges and struggles, doubts and fears, setbacks and harsh realities. BUT, anything worth having is never easy. These are litmus tests for your strength and perseverance. I can say this now, but in the moment then and sometimes now, I just want to pack my bags and head back to the beach…where I’m happiest and freest. But I know it’s worth it.
I think the main struggle was my relationship with myself. Of course, there’s money, the city, taxes, etc. But ultimately the struggle is your perception and your attitude. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DEAL WITH THESE STRUGGLES? Had I not made a concerted effort to shift my thoughts, I’d still be lost.
Etta’s Kitchen – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Etta’s is an intimate, fully equipped boutique event space located in the heart of 3rd Ward (Emancipation), close to Downtown, Houston Medical Center, The Museum District, U of H and TSU.
Best suited for smaller/curated events such as cooking classes, dinner parties, baby showers, birthdays, bachelor/ette parties, business meetings, small workshops, client meetings, etc.
We have a really popular ‘Pop up Brunch’ at Bar 5015, where we have been for almost 2 years now. We have a fun party atmosphere with DJ Big Reeks from 11a-4pm every Sunday. This event is really what introduced us to the community and made Etta’s event space possible. We are able to carry that energy over to our cooking classes and share our vision with the Etta’s community.
I think what sets us apart is who we are as people! When you walk into Etta’s Kitchen, it is clearly a reflection of who I am. And I am inspired by the people I meet every day. So Essentially Etta’s is for everybody.
We’re also working on our first Cooking Adventure Retreat in tandem with Blissful Ignorance Travel Co.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My definition of success is to be able to do what you want, when you want, how you want. The ability to make your own decisions on how you live your life. Building quality relationships (cornerstone of good business and personal life), unconditional love for self, sharing your authentic self with the world in compassion, making smart financial decisions so you can practice the previous goals unencumbered. Ultimately, it’s about creating the life you want for yourself. There are no rules, only mental limitations.
- Cooking Classes Range from $50 – $75 per class
- Etta’s Sunday Brunch $4 Blood Orange Mimosas + our Menu ranges from $12 – $16
- Etta’s Private Rental Space $75 per hour
- Address: Etta’s Kitchen and Event Space – 4212 Dowling (Emancipation) Houston 77004
Etta’s SUNDAY BRUNCH POP UP @ Bar 5015 + DJ Big REEKS / Every Sunday 11a-4p
5015 Almeda Houston 77004
- Website: www.ettashtx.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @ettashtx
- Facebook: @ettashtx
- Twitter: @ettashtx
- Yelp: Etta;s Kitchen