Dietitian markets 'Downton Abbey'-style tea parties to San Diego

For nearly two years, Claudette Heffner’s company, Mulberry Street Teahouse, offered mobile British-style tea parties for charity fund-raisers.
Student Profile: Claudette Heffner, Certificate in Marketing

“I had so much fun doing it,” she said, “but it’s really a lot of work. Doing it myself, it’s not as much fun. I might start it again with a partner. We’ll see.”

The concept sprung from the UC San Diego Extension Marketing Certificate program Heffner completed in 2010.

“Not a lot of women my age would do what I did,” said Heffner, who spent 10 years as a registered dietitian, at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Scripps Clinic in San Diego. “I’ve loved working as a dietitian, but deep down, I wanted a career in business.”

In recent years, Heffner has been involved in charity work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and other fund-raising efforts.

“No matter what I do now, I end up using my PR and marketing skills,” she said. “The program really helped get me jump-started.” Heffner has special praise for instructor Chris marketing research course.

“I didn’t have a clue before I started,” she said. “He truly inspired us. I’ve got my own blog and a greater presence on Facebook and Twitter. I can’t say enough good things about the program.”

For her final class, Heffner hosted an elegant tea party, featuring scones and Earl Grey tea, of course. “Just like Downton Abbey,” she said.

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