Growing up, Ellen Bennett, the founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, the leading Los Angeles based culinary workwear brand, found herself spending summers in her native Mexico learning to cook with her abuelita. Soon after graduating high school, Ellen found herself back in Mexico City attending culinary school where she would rekindle the joys of her summer cooking adventures while learning the skills needed to tackle the hustle of the professional kitchen. Back in L.A. she put her training to work cooking in two Michelin Star restaurants, Providence and Baco Mercat. It was during this time working on the line that she experienced a “uniform” that was not aligned with the creativity and confidence found in the kitchen. This led to the vision for Hedley & Bennett; make the best aprons in the world by marrying the needs of professional chefs with the design trends for today's discerning consumers.
Today, Hedley & Bennett make more than aprons, but culinary workwear and gear that outfits over 6,000 restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, resorts and hundreds of thousands of home cooks all over the world. This evolution has also led to creative, out-of-the-box collaborations with brands such as Vans, Madewell, Parachute Home, Rifle Paper Co., Product (RED) and more. Most recently, she pivoted the resources of her company during the global COVID-19 pandemic to make masks to meet the needs of both professionals and consumers while donating over hundreds of thousands of masks to front line workers. Ellen and the Hedley & Bennett story has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Inc., Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart, the Today Show and more. Ellen lives in Echo Park with her husband Casey, their pet pig Oliver, and six chickens.
Episode #1590 Ellen Bennett: What It Really Takes To Achieve Your Dreams
Fulfilling your dream is never easy. But, would you want to dedicate yourself to anything else? For Ellen, building a brand beloved by chefs around the world was more than worth it. We dive into her best stories, from the chef who gifted her the traveling apron to the team’s Hail Mary to meet their biggest deadline on the tarmac at LAX, and how the magic of ‘Vitamixing’ manifested their first company kitchen - for free!
Ellen’s gift of marrying honesty with gratitude for the journey is a catalyst to pursue our passions. As she says: 'Whatever your gift is, lean into that.'