The Pampered Chef: The Story of One of America's Most Beloved Companies

Doris Christopher, Author . Doubleday/Currency $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-51535-1

Christopher's multimillion-dollar kitchen tools company, the Pampered Chef, was recently acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway; her book documents how she turned a $3,000 initial investment into a thriving direct sales business that today employs tens of thousands. After a perfunctory foreword by Buffett, the book progresses more or less chronologically from Christopher's initial idea in 1980 (to sell high quality tools by way of TV infomercials), through her business development and hiring her first employees, to her quick expansion into a large international company. Along the way, Christopher shares the lessons learned from her business, including tips on starting up, handling organizational growing pains, customer service advice and wisdom on how to treat employees. Yet while Christopher's guidance is useful to aspiring entrepreneurs, her business advice is fairly basic, and written in a tone that is modest to a fault. Despite her tremendous business success, Christopher continuously downplays her own drive in favor of the assertion that her only desire was to put her kids through college and help her family. For those with other motivations, it will quickly become tiresome. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 07/01/2005
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Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-385-51573-3
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