In 1980, Doris Christopher’s youngest daughter was ready to start school, and Doris was ready to go back to work. She was looking for a challenging, satisfying way to have the flexibility to be there for her daughters.
Back then, positions like that were hard to find—so she created the opportunity she was looking for. She said, “I wanted a business I could start with minimal capital…that was home-based…that would generate enough income to be worth my time. To do that, I had to come up with a product or service that filled a void. More than anything else, I wanted to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”
History & Heritage
Oct. 15, 1980, was a cold, rainy night in northern Illinois. On the drive to that first party, Doris did have some doubts about her new venture.” She asked herself, “What have I got myself into?” and considered turning back. She says, “Even as I pulled into the driveway, I thought, I may do this once, but I’ll never, ever do it again. Somehow I’ll manage to get through this thing.”
She stood in front of a group of nine women, with the products from six crates displayed around her. She took a deep breath and said, “Tonight, I’m going to show you how to use these wonderful baking stones. I came across them this summer, and I adore them. Now I’m making the most delicious pizzas you can imagine right in my own kitchen—on par with or even better than what you can buy in the best pizza parlors in Chicago. I can see by your reactions that you’ve never seen anything like these stones. Neither had I. But I’ll tell you a secret—they’ve been around a long time. The ancient Egyptians baked in stone ovens, and they also baked on rocks placed under the hot sun. These baking stones work on the same principle.” Then, she took a simple frozen pizza, placed it on a stone, and added a few extra chopped veggies on top.
The guests’ eyes were wide open. In 1980, this was a revolutionary concept! Their positive reactions restored Doris’ confidence; she was certain that others wanted (and needed!) the products and tips she was offering.
The rest is, as they say, history. Doris continued selling the products she’d hand-selected, and after a few months, she realized that others might want to be part of this business, too, and Pampered Chef as we know it today was born.
The Next Chapter
Since our humble beginnings, a lot has changed. But the important things—food, family, celebrations—have stayed the same. Today, tens of thousands of consultants around the world are part of a strong community that thrives on providing cooking tools that give people more confidence in the kitchen, recipes that help families enjoy mealtime together, and a business that transforms mealtimes into an opportunity for more. And our community continues to grow around the world!
Flexibility & Income
Doris started her business in the basement of her family home. Today, consultants can run their businesses right from their phones. So many people are looking for ways to earn extra money, with the flexibility to be there for their families and life’s most important moments. With a Pampered Chef business, consultants have the flexibility to run their businesses anywhere, any time—and still be present for their loved ones.
Community & Common Purpose
Doris started Pampered Chef with the belief that mealtimes have the power to become something more: A way to transform relationships, share stories, create traditions, and build happier, richer lives. In the years since, her founding principles have guided every decision we’ve made. And we’ve become part of a larger community: In 2002, we became a proud member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, and we’re also a leader within the Direct Selling Association.
Become a Consultant
As Doris says, “Pampered Chef is the perfect choice for people who want to have success on their own terms.” Watch this video, where she talks about it all started with a stone! And today, you can start a Pampered Chef business of your own with stoneware, too.