Rochester Brainery offering daily online classes from cooking to mindfulness

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With Governor Andrew Cuomo extending NYS PAUSE for another month, New Yorkers and Rochesterians will be looking for even more things to do at home. One community group is offering classes every night, in a wide range of topics, and is not only trying to give people something to do, but find a connection.

Rochester Brainery celebrated seven years in business this past month.

“It was a weird time to completely flip everything we were doing,” said founder and owner of Rochester Brainery Danielle Raymo.

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Hi! 👋 @dtotheraymo dropping by to check-in. For those of you just following along (thank you!), let me do a quick introduction. I’m Danielle, the owner of Rochester Brainery. I’m usually the one posting to our feed + responding to your DMs, so I am also to blame for any corny jokes and overuse of this emoji —> 🤓. ⁣ ⁣ It has been a past few weeks, hasn’t it? This photo was taken at the beginning of March by @juliamerrell (who takes many of the lovely photos you see posted to our feed). We were in the process of updating the ‘about’ section on our website, and who knew everything about us would change so much, just days later. ⁣ ⁣ Now, everyone’s health and safety is at the top of our minds. Most small businesses I know are asking themselves how they can shift what they do to keep going, and also, what they can do to help: bringing joy to someone’s day, sharing tips and tricks, making special deliveries, and beyond.⁣ ⁣ For now, we’re focusing on doing what we know, and honestly, why I fell in love with opening this biz in the first place:⁣ ⁣ 1️⃣ Continuing to connect our community—get to know each other, learn and grow together—through experiences ⁣ 2️⃣ Providing those who want to teach an outlet to do just that⁣ 3️⃣ Shining a light on the makers, crafters, bakers, historians, writers + beyond we love here in Rochester⁣ ⁣ We are determined to keep as many online classes going for as long as we can and to keep doing all of the above, in hopes it helps in some small way. ⁣ ⁣ On Tuesday we began canceling all of our in-person classes through 4/30 (if you haven’t heard from us yet you will soon). We’re unfortunately a smaller team over here at the moment (hopefully not for too long), so please bear with us if we’re a little slower to respond than usual. ⁣ ⁣ With all that said, I’m all ears. If there is any other way you think we could help, be more transparent, give you a platform, etc. please let us know. This business was opened to connect our community, and I want to make sure we’re doing just that. ⁣ ⁣ Thanks for reading and I hope to see you soon at Rochester Brainery. 💙⁣

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The business in the Neighborhood of the Arts class itself a “community classroom,” and tapping into Raymo’s passion for supporting small businesses and independent artists.

“The whole inspiration was to create an in-person community for people to get to know each other, meet new people, for businesses to share what they know, and to cultivate this space (so) that it’s beneficial for both people teaching, and for people taking classes,” she said.

Raymo says that Brainery classes and community were meant to be shared in person. That is nearly impossible now, but doesn’t mean all of the human connection goes away.

“Tonight we have a gnocchi making class,” Raymo said. “People will have all the ingredients, the teacher will walk everybody through it… This class in particular, on a Friday night, could be really good for a date night.”

They don’t just have cooking classes. Raymo specifically pointed out their History Happy Hour, but they have mindfulness classes, art, comedy and improv, social media training, and even interior decorating.

Before NYS PAUSE hit, Rochester Brainery was offering 80 classes a month. Now, they’re mostly doing one a day.

Customers pay for each class individually, and there are memberships available.

They have been able to transfer many of their classes from in-person to online. Although it might lack the in-personal touch Raymo founded her business on, she says most of the classes translate well.

But for a business that thrives on in-person connection and helping small businesses, for whatever form the “new normal” of a post-coronavirus world will take, there will always be uncertainty. Raymo had plans to expand the space rental services of their location, but those are uncertain as well.

If you’d like to sign up for a class, follow the links on their website. If you would like to teach a class, email them at

In the meantime, in addition to their classes, they’ve entered into the coloring book making game.

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Hello, IG friends! Today it was announced that for everyone’s safety, all non-essential businesses will remain closed until at least 5/15. So, we thought we would share what we’ll be working on in the coming days, just so you’re in the loop.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ If you are scheduled for a class with us between 5/1-5/15, you will be hearing from us via email within the next week or so. We apologize this can take some time, but here is why:⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ 📲 First, we reach out to the teachers and our venues to notify them of the change.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ 🗓 Next, we try to schedule an online version of the class or pick a date in the future to reschedule to.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ 💻 Then, we send you an email with the option to take the online version, the next in-person session, receive a credit, or a refund.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ 👋 Last, as soon as we hear back from you we’ll respond to confirm so you know you’re all set. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ We thought it was important to share our process, just so you know why perhaps you haven’t heard from us yet. You will soon! 💙⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ With that said, while classes can’t be held in-person, we certainly still have a lot going on: We’ll be booking online classes through mid-May, we’re working on some new blog posts and some fun videos for IGTV, and oh yes — and if you haven’t downloaded our coloring book yet, please do! 🖍 Thank you all so much for your support! 🤓⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 📷: @lindsaystephanyphoto

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