Susan Cohen has worked professionally in the wellness realm – as a natural foods chef, cooking instructor, yoga teacher, foot reflexologist and massage therapist – for several decades. She established her business, Savory Naturals, more than 15 years ago in Florida, where she had a consistent following.
A relocation to Bucks County in 2019 sent her back to the drawing board in terms of rebuilding her business. Soon after settling into her new digs, Cohen reached out to SCORE Bucks County for assistance.
“I just knew they were supportive,” said Cohen, who watches the chapter’s business-related webinars and meets regularly with her mentor, Carl Rubin.
Rubin helped Cohen move out of her comfort zone to transition her cooking instruction business to a virtual format during the peak of the pandemic. He also assigned her homework and kept her accountable, which Cohen said was helpful in keeping her motivated.
“He’s my cheerleader. He listens to me,” she said. “He understands when I talk about where I am in this stage of my life in my business of how I want to create and expand. He doesn’t force me to do something that’s not really me.”
Rubin, who continues to mentor Cohen, said her drive will continue to lead her on a successful path.
“Her ability as a business owner shows a determination to succeed in a professional manner,” Rubin said. “Susan utilizes all assets that are available to help grow the business.”
Cohen currently teaches in-person and virtual cooking classes for adults and children. She offers in-persons sessions through Newtown Parks and Recreation, Upper Southampton Community Center, New Hope-Solebury School and Princeton Adult School. She also teaches yoga at Airmid Wellness and Counseling Center in Warminster.
Virtual cooking classes allow her and her students to cook – and eat – from the convenience of home.
“You’re able to really connect with people and then sit and eat a meal together,” she said.
It took a bit for Cohen to get used to virtual instruction, but now she’s looking to add more of it to her plate, along with teambuilding events, private cooking events as well as her workshops, including Sleep Eaze, and Strong Bones & Sugar Cravings.
“This has been a dream and a purpose for me,” she said.
Cohen took her first yoga and cooking classes 40 years ago but realized her love of cooking long before.
“I started loving cooking from the time I was a little girl,” Cohen said, adding that she would help shell the peas or stir the cake batter. “I sat with my mother in the kitchen, and she was a great cook and a baker.”
She began cooking for herself and her family more than 20 years ago, enjoying the benefits of a healthy, organic food plan. She studied with award-winning chef Christina Pirello at Drexel University and attended the Natural Kitchen Cooking School in New Jersey. She worked for seven years in wellness centers as well.
Cohen has seen firsthand the benefits that eating can play in a person’s life. One of her clients has rheumatoid arthritis, which prevented her from walking more than 15 feet.
“I just tweaked her food,” she said. “Within two weeks she was able to walk.”
She also helps clients create personalized menus to suit their dietary needs.
“It’s a lot of learning new and different foods that we’ve never tried,” she said. “Just understanding what our body needs and of course eating according to the season and eating organic.”