A Western New York woman turned her passion into her livelihood

Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 17, 2020

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — Jessica Betzig of Hamburg has always had a passion for food.

“I grew up in the restaurant business. My parents owned a restaurant so I’ve been around food my whole life," she said.

But it was not until this year that Jess decided to turn her passion into her livelihood.

“Over the summer, a family member asked if I would make some healthy meals for them instead of them buying it from other meal prep places," Betzig said. "I said sure [and] then after a few weeks, I shared the menu on my Instagram, and a few people reached out, and that's when I decided to officially start a business.”

Jess does all her cooking right from home, and her business, Jess in the Kitchen, has flourished so much that her husband built her her own kitchen downstairs.

“I'm down here a lot," she said.

According to the New York State Agriculture Department, there has been a 56% increase in at home food processors in New York State,

“A lot of people have been staying at home during the pandemic and perhaps they used that time at home to turn what once was a hobby into a small business," deputy commissioner of the NYS agriculture department Jennifer Trodden said. "And we’re encouraging that as long as they continue to follow appropriate safety guidelines.”

While Jess’ main job is being a teacher, her children say her real passion is food.

“Even after seeing her teaching after all these years, you can totally see a different energy that she brings towards cooking, and it's also a form of love that she provides for all of us,” her daughter Brooklyn said.

And while Jess’ business is taking off, she plans on staying in her home kitchen a little while longer.

“It's kind of surreal sometimes that I’ve started a business, and it's been so successful," she said. "I'm so grateful to my customers who love my food and give me feedback every week. It’s just pretty awesome.”

Jess comes out with a new meal prep menu every Tuesday. The food options range from $6 to $11, and orders can be placed through her Instagram.