NEW YORK— When Bradford Malt, co-founder and CEO of Made In, couldn’t find a cookware brand that allowed him to explore his passion for cooking, he set out to create his own. With Jake Kalick, now the president and co-founder of Made In, the duo created a new direct to consumer cookware brand.
Made In debuted this past September with a line that includes stainless steel and non-stick cookware. The line is priced from $69 to $149 and can be purchased individually, in kits, or in customizable “Build Your Kitchen” assortments.
The co-founders spoke to HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® about the choice to go direct to consumers, and their made in the U.S. message.
HomeWorld Business: What made you want to develop a cookware line?
Bradford Malt: Jake and I both love to cook and are always the ones hosting
parties either in the kitchen or on the grill. There weren’t cookware brands that resonated with me or that I could afford. So I reached out to Jake, whose family had been in the industry.
Jake Kalick: I was currently third generation in my family’s food service equipment and supply business. I saw a lot of innovation in china and glassware and in some kitchen equipment, but cookware seemed rather untouched.
HWB: Why go the direct-to-consumer route?
BM: We’re fortunate enough that other businesses in different categories have primed today’s younger consumers to accept the direct-to-consumer model and the value behind it. With older generations, there is still a lot of education that needs to be done to build trust, but we think it is the right channel to invest in.
HWB: How are you planning to market the brand?
BM: As a digital first brand, it is important for us to create a direct connection with our customers. Having dynamic content available is important. An example of this is our blog, “Beyond the Burner.” The concept behind the blog is to keep our customers engaged even once they purchase their cookware and continue to excite them about cooking.
JK: Offline activation is also crucial in connecting with consumers. We have events in the works in various cities executed with other brands and chef partners.
HWB: Why make your cookware in the U.S.?
BM: The biggest focus in our vision was to absolutely nail the product and build the company around that. We needed a manufacturer that understood what we were trying to do, take the whole premium kitchen tool industry, innovative on it, and move it online.
JK: We love the fact that we are able to partner with a family-owned factory in the U.S. to make our vision come to life. Authenticity is important, so the fact that we were able to sit down with multiple generations of factory owners and strategize about how to get an amazing new product to market was a great experience.
HWB: What’s the strategy for growth?
BM: The goal is to continue to expand into other categories in the kitchen space and become the go-to brand for a younger generation of modern cooks.
JK: We also want to continue to build relationship with manufacturer partners that are family owned and operated for these categories.