About us

ClassBento empowers local artists and small businesses to improve mental wellbeing in our communities, one artisan experience at a time.

ClassBento's founders, John and Iain, met while working together at THE ICONIC (Australia's leading online fashion retailer).

John was keen to try his hand at calligraphy, wood working, and a handful of other creative pursuits, but working in a start-up with lots of early mornings and late starts, combined with the rigid and inaccessible options provided by the large art schools of the time, meant that years later he was no closer to building his dream cabinet or creating placecards for a fancy dinner.

And so, ClassBento was born.

By attending a class, you'll be supporting local small businesses and artists, and exchanging in meaningful cultural and social exchanges, whether it's through Japanese floristry, Italian cooking, Turkish mosaics, or Spanish guitar.

Along with ensuring you can find the right creative workshop to suit you and your schedule, there are two other big motivations behind ClassBento; to fight against dementia, and to reduce burnout in our super connected culture.

Alzheimer’s and dementia pose one of the greatest challenges of our time. In the next fifteen years, the amount of people over 65 will double globally. Over the age of 65, the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's grow exponentially, and it is predicted by 2050 there will be 150 million people living with dementia. Currently, there is no cure, but there are ways for us to prevent and slow down its progress. Staying mentally stimulated, such as through engaging in workshops, helps to preserve brain health, and keeps memory skills intact.

Also, working in a fast-paced start-up environment allowed John to see firsthand how damaging burnout can be for young professionals, especially millennials who are even more connected than previous generations. Job stress costs employers over $300 billion dollars a year in lost productivity and stress related leave. With searches for ‘mindfulness’ skyrocketing in the last five years, we know people are looking for ways to switch off and be less stressed, but simply can’t find a way to do it. ClassBento reminds you to make time in your schedule to discover a new skill or find a new passion, and highlights the joy of learning. By making booking a class an easy, stress-free experience, we make it easy for you to add a bit more life to your work-life balance.

ClassBento is all about the fun and stimulation that comes with learning (or teaching) a skill and being present in the moment. Be inspired by our experienced teachers, and give your brain a chance to stretch those creative wings. Join our mission and let's bring more healthy arty fun into our communities.

Here are some of the moments we created and cherish:

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the wonderful Online Event: Paint a Beach Scene. My son attended and we have never been able to spend time together without him getting angry. Today was the first time in 5 years that we have enjoyed time together doing an activity. He completely enjoyed himself and interacted with the group. I was blown away by his enthusiasm, although he loves painting, and the fact that he went two hours completely engaged was not distracted, nor did he want to break for a cigarette. I want to thank you most sincerely for making the best day with my son for many years."

"I have really appreciated the online sessions that you have provided during this Pandemic. Some of the sessions I wouldn’t usually drive to to access, but because it’s so easy with being via zoom it’s been thoroughly enjoyable and has made a difference to my mental health."

"My daughter and I spent a thoroughly enjoyable few hours under Yoko's expert tutelage learning the art of Kintsugi. We were both so impressed by Yoko’s gentle guidance, depth of knowledge and most of all, attention to detail (right down to the green tea and lolly that came in our respective boxes!). I would never consider myself as ‘arty’ however that was OK and to be honest I found the experience convivial, relaxing, connecting, meditative and of course, informative. This was a beautiful gift as I was able to spend quality zoom time with my daughter (currently in the Melbourne lockdown) from our family home in regional NSW. 10/10 would recommend, particularly to other parents missing spending time with their young adult kids at the moment. "

"I organised a private class during COVID-19 pandemic for my husbands birthday. Our adult children joined from their respective homes. It was amazing! My husband said "this was the best birthday gift ever, to have fun and learn with our family". Thank you! "

"Thank you so much for the private class neither of us expected, it was just so great and I felt the most like myself since my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer."

"Hi Chef Manu,
Thank you so much for the great workshop you did for our BrainLink Carers this morning. They all totally enjoyed the experience and we were all a bit shocked to hear you were actually in Argentina which made the experience even better.
These ladies all care for a loved one who lives with either an acquired brain injury or a neurological disorder like Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis or Motor Neuron Disease so their lives are full on and very stressful.
I have attached below some feedback from Sahar, one of the carers.
Cheers Karen, Manager Carer Services, BrainLink

OH MY LORD Karen! I didn't expect to go to Argentina this morning. My heart is leaping with a joy to the heavens and back. What a gift & blessing. A truly healing way to connect with another beautiful soul chef manu through food sharing via zoom during covid. Seriously stunning social healing for is all. Please copy my gratitude to Brainlink & it's massive wellbeing help & support it has given us as a group. I'm in tears because my small heart is so full. As carers when you think your routine of care giving defines possibilitiesyou have come along and shown usthere's still more life to enjoy. This is massive. I'm so grateful. Thank you kindly sincerely Sahar ❣❣❣"

And from our corporate team workshops:

"It brought a smile to my face which I haven’t had in a long time”

“It is the only time I have ever felt valued by you - ever. Please do more of this."

“The whole concept, I have been in the company for over 20 years and never felt more appreciated than I do now and this event endorsed this feeling.”

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