It’s a family affair!
In 2004 my mom Susan left the world of professional fundraising to create HeritageCookbook.com. Her vision was to bring families, friends and communites together.
Close to 200,000 books later, HeritageCookbook.com has become one of the most trusted self publishing tools on the internet, with thousands of happy customers who’ve even become our friends!
In 2013, my sister Laurence and I joined the family business and joined in on the fun! (In case you’re wondering, we grew up in France, hence the names – Laurence and Virginie- and the love of cooking!!). We are both full-time moms and former professionals who loved the idea of carrying on the heritage of our mom’s company! After all, her vision is to bring families together, and what better way to do that than to work on the family business!
Click on a name to read their story!
Susan – Creator of Heritage Cookbook
Some of us don’t come from families with long gastronomic traditions. To tell the truth, the culinary highlights of my childhood were the weekly visits to my grandmother’s house for lunch because she made Jello. I was nine years old.
I was so proud of my Grandmother. She made magnificent 3-color Jello desserts: tall, glistening, sparkling rainbows poured into skinny glasses – never in bowls, where you wouldn’t get the full effect of the contrasting stripes.
At the time, I didn’t realize that this did not put me squarely in the same category as those worldly children who ate tiramisu or pecan pie or mousse au chocolat or exotic tropical fruit.
I grew up. I went away to college. I didn’t know how to cook! I had a lot to discover and so I started by buying one of those magazine specials – you know the type – four classic cookbooks for $20. I was desperate!
I got married and lived in Portugal and then France. The markets were so wonderful and the food was so fresh that shopping became a daily adventure for me. Learning to love cooking just happened little by little.
Over the years, I’ve been a full-time mom, a teacher and a fundraiser. As 2002 drew to a close, intuition said it was time to start a new project.
I knew I wanted to create something useful – something that would bring people together and strengthen families, friends and communities.
You know how they say you can have good ideas in the middle of the night?
I literally sat up and said “AHA!”
HeritageCookbook.com was born at 3:30 AM on a cold night in February. It took just over a year and a half to build it.
So there you have it – The Story.
And now I want to personally wish you good luck with your cookbook. I hope that you enjoy making it and that you create a unique legacy – something lasting that you will be truly, truly proud of.
Susan’s daughter and co-owner of HeritageCookbook.com
I’m a mother of two young kids (a funny little girl and rambunctious school-aged boy), a trained interior designer and magazine editor. (Although I started my career in sports marketing, strangely enough). I recently left the world of media, journalism and TV to join my mom in the Heritage family. It wasn’t much of a stretch – my best memories all revolve around food and family gatherings. The idea of helping other people share their food moments was a no-brainer.
Growing up in France, one of the first things I learned to make (at the ripe age of seven), was crepes. Home Ec. class followed that up with yoghurt cake and profiteroles. Funny that those were recipes that were deemed basic in France! They’re not the most useful in today’s busy life, but I suppose I can impress a guest on a dime by pulling those dishes out of the old memory vault! My other early childhood recipe is one my father taught me how to make, and a standard in any French woman’s repertoire: mustard vinaigrette. That is one of those recipes I make every day, and have taught both my kids to make. (Find all these recipes over in our recipe tab)
I moved to North America as a teenager and as I’ve grown up, I’ve found that life often gets so busy I hardly have time to prepare the food I know I should for my family. I end up throwing something frozen in the oven even though I love cooking! So when my mom started Heritage, my girlfriends and I collaborated on a cookbook of all our favorite go-to recipes. Since we all found that we basically ate 5 things regularly, if we all shared them, we would have a treasure trove of easy-to-make food we could incorporate into our daily routines. That’s how I got started with my first Heritage cookbook!
I’de love to hear the story of your book!
Susan’s daughter and co-owner of HeritageCookbook.com
Born in Europe and raised in North America, I grew up in two worlds. As a young child, I remember how my French grandmother always spent the day in her dressing gown, cooking from dawn ‘til dusk so that her loved ones could enjoy a meal together that night. Rabbit stew, Moroccan couscous and homemade donuts were just some of the dishes she could prepare with her eyes closed. When I was older and tried to get exact measurements for her recipes, she would mumble, “Oh, you know. You just put a dash of this and a bit of that”. She made it look so easy. She created a home where all gathered at night for lively meals, full of laughter and sometimes very heated discussions.
I love the idea of helping others capture some of their family rituals around the dining room table. A little cookbook, full of stories, photos and family secrets, is for me, a good start in preserving my family’s heritage in order for my little girls to savor some the joys that I experienced years ago.
Franck and Etienne, our programmers
Kourtney, your point person at Hume Media Inc., our printing partner
Heritage Cookbooks are printed by Hume Media Inc, one of North America’s leading digital book printers. Our commitment to customer service and quality has made our nine year relationship with HeritageCookbook a perfect recipe for success. When I began working at Hume in 2008, I was lucky enough to be able to combine two of my passions while assisting in the production of customer cookbooks: reading and food.
I grew up in a household of comfort food (my mom isn’t Italian, but she certainly makes the best lasagna I’ve ever had!), and I was always helping out in the kitchen – with only a few disasters in memory. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more adventurous with my own cooking (also with a few disasters!) Most of my “recipes” are modified either to create healthier versions or to accommodate the pickier eaters in my life, but I’m always looking for inspiration.
Of course, in addition to cooking, I love eating – and a good adventure! These hobbies have taken me to several restaurants featured on popular television shows, the very first pizzeria in America, and even a dinner made by a Top Chef.
Just one more thing: unless you like burnt cookies, don’t ask me to bake!
Steve and Philina, our graphic designers
Great Grandmother – an inspiration
Jenny Sturgis Humphery,
1866 – 1943
Jenny Sturgis was born in 1866. At the age of 17, she married Robert Edgar Humphery and they lived in North Kortright, N.Y., until 1918, when they sold the family farm to move to Illinois. Their three daughters had already married and moved away from North Kortright: two to Gary, Indiana, and one to Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
After Robert died in the flu epidemic of 1919 Jenny lived alternately with one daughter or another, visiting their families.
In 1933, at the age of 67, she became the first person in our family to fly in an airplane. When asked by her son-in-law Arthur on what day he should make her train reservation from Toronto to Chicago, she replied, much to everyone’s astonishment,
“Arthur, I think I would like to fly this year. In one of those new machines – an airplane.”
And a few more things:
Our Green Policy: We are proud to have all our cookbooks printed on Forest Stewardship Council
“The Nature Conservancy believes that FSC is currently the most rigorous forest management standard currently operating in the global arena.” Frances Price, Director of Forest Certification, The Nature Conservancy. For information on the Forest Stewardship Council go to http://www.fsc.org/en/
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