About us

Our team wake up every day to make workshops more accessible for people to improve their social and mental wellbeing. Since 2016 we have empowered over thousands of artisans, makers, cooking schools, cafes, bars and restaurants to run fun workshops for over 1 million people.

John, co-founder and originally from the North East, saw close up the rise of burnout at the forefront of digital and social media. He found workshops the best way to help his team disconnect and enjoy mindfulness.

John met Iain, his fellow co-founder, originally from Malaysia, at a high growth tech startup where they experienced the fast-paced but high burnout lifestyle. A turning point came when John lost his grandma to dementia which spurred the launch of ClassBento.

The name ClassBento comes from the startup’s original teacher, a Japanese florist, Setsuko who ran Ikebana floristry classes from her small floristry studio. John and Iain were inspired by the philosophy of the Japanese - Ikigai - which translates to “finding joy in life through purpose” associated with life long expectancy in Japan. And you will love trying the carefully curated offerings from a Bento box.

Now both dads with young families, they've built a fun-loving crafty team, and together they are helping makers and artisans teach what they love and help people everywhere with their social and mental wellbeing, and donating to Mental Health UK with every booking.

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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