With in-person cooking classes currently on hold due to COVID-19, Lazy Acres Market has found creative new ways to continue engaging with the community through virtual, livestreamed cooking classes and wellness workshops.
Lazy Acres Natural Market is a natural food store with five locations throughout Southern California.
Lazy Acres is like any traditional grocery with its seafood, a deli and other specialized departments, but what makes it unique from other grocery stores is that it sells natural products with an emphasis on health and wellness items.
Lazy Acres also offers a wide variety and prioritizes sourcing local products in its stores. It also has an excellent natural living department that specializes in vitamins and supplements, which complements the store’s mission to emphasize health and wellness.
According to Cait Gunderson, Lazy Acres Corporate Marketing Manager and Community Rooms Director, Lazy Acres is also unique because of its focus on community engagement.
“Every single one of our stores is heavily involved in their communities, whether it’s supporting local schools or non-profits that align with who we are as a brand,” Gunderson said.
Prior to COVID-19, Lazy Acres was providing cooking lessons in its Community Rooms rooms in Encinitas and Hermosa Beach.
The Moonlight Room at the Encinitas location was home to classes for ages as young as toddlers to adults. Local Chef Isabelle Baril has been teaching those classes since the room opened in 2016.
Shortly after the pandemic restricted everyone mostly to their homes, Lazy Acres took its cooking classes to the Internet. In April, the store began livestreaming cooking classes on its Facebook page.
The completely free classes feature a single recipe each session. Information is posted a few days prior to a class to allow students to gather the ingredients and utensils needed for a recipe so they are prepared to follow along during the class.
The recipes range in difficulty from adventurous to kid-friendly and include everything from baking cookies to classic Mexican, Thai and Morroccan cuisines to vegan dishes. There is a special emphasis on easily made, healthy dishes.
In addition to virtual cooking classes, Lazy Acres is also livestreaming wellness workshops.
The store partners with local community partners to bring these videos to life. “We’re always looking for wellness workshop partners to connect with as well as other wellness experts,” Gunderson said.
Even if someone misses a class, they can always go back and watch the video after it was livestreamed. They can also still see questions and comments from other participants during the lessons.
The virtual classes also provide customers near locations that don’t have Community Rooms rooms access to cooking and wellness lessons through Lazy Acres.
“We’re just trying to spread the good word on health and wellness and make it all achieveable for everyone in our community,” Gunderson said.
To watch the cooking classes and wellness workshops, check out Lazy Acres’ Facebook page under its events section.