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