PenFed Military Women Startup Accelerator finalist
Tina Cusker – Owner of La Cuisine
For Tina Cusker, who spent 30 years as an educator, changes in the education system amid the COVID-19 pandemic ignited her desire to pursue cooking and entertaining.
In April 2021, she launched La Cuisine as an online store that sells kitchen necessities. Then, later that year, Cusker brought her educational background to the kitchen and opened La Cuisine’s culinary classroom in Bozeman, Montana.
On the lower level, La Cuisine is a store for kitchen and dining goods. Meanwhile, weekly “how-to” classes — from charcuterie board-making and knife skills — are held upstairs, where there’s a commercial kitchen. The kitchen is also open for private dinners or events.
Local chefs and caterers are also known to host tastings at the establishment.
Additionally, Cusker said she makes it a point to connect with other businesses and in her community. An Air Force spouse for more than 25 years, Cusker pays homage to the military community with complimentary events for military families at least twice per year.
At La Cuisine, the PenFed grant will go toward an essential technology upgrade. Where you’d typically see a mirror above the workspace in a classroom kitchen, Cusker uses a camera so students can tune in from an iPad or phone. Her goal is to open virtual classes to culinary students everywhere by 2022.