Pressing that little green rocketship was a little harder than anticipated.
By Jennifer Lopez (Co-Founder & CEO, Culture Kitchen)

“Should I hit the green button?” “Are you ready? You sure?” “Okay, let’s press it together.”

A little dramatic, I know, but that was what my Monday morning looked like. Those were the last few seconds before we officially launched our Culture Kitchen Kickstarter campaign. My co-founder Abby Sturges and I physically pressed the button together for the 15 incredible Master Cooks we work with, the hundreds of customers who eat lovely Culture Kitchen dinners every month and the countless people in our community that say, “I just love Culture Kitchen.”

Me too, and that is why pressing that little green rocketship was a little harder than anticipated.

Culture Kitchen’s mission is to spread culture through food. We want to bring people together through the act of cooking and enjoying food from around the world.

Our product, the Culture Kitchen Kits are a monthly subscription of the hard to find ingredients to make an ethnic dinner at home.

We specifically work with immigrants to the States that have mastered cooking their ethnic cuisine and now want to share that with the world. Each kit features 3 recipes and provides you with step by step directions to make the meal.

In the last 6 months of production, we have felt that the personal story of our cooks needed to be stronger and stand out. That story needed to enter into the homes of our customers just as the cardamom pods, or ancho chilies do, and to do that, we are looking to video – and now our Kickstarter campaign.

For our campaign, we want to build another 6 months of kits, working with more Master Cooks from around the world and to create video for each kit. These videos will feature the difficult cooking techniques, but also the fun stories you would only get from a cook in their kitchen.

Our goal is to make snippets that give people the opportunity to really get to know our cooks and take their cooking skill and knowledge up a notch in these varying ethnic cuisines.

Kickstarter is the social platform to fund passion projects. Culture Kitchen is our passion, and it unlike a product you keep all to yourself, is inherently community based. You cook and share your meal with friends and family and then tell the story of our Master Cooks with the world. We feel that there are great synergies between our mission and the way in which Kickstarter helps fund projects and we want to be a part of this trend where people vote with their dollar and desire to see something come to life.

Culture Kitchen has grown and changed a great deal from its initial inspiration in the countrysides of Myanmar and Kenya, but what is true is still our desire to bring people together over food and exchange culture in the process. We hope many more people will grow to make mole or paneer in their kitchen, and get the opportunity to taste the rewards of that labor. It was exciting to launch our campaign and now we will see where the community of cooks and lovers of culture will take it.

» Help Fund The Kickstarter Campaign: Culture Kitchen Kit – Spreading Culture Through Food

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Jennifer Lopez is Co-Founder and CEO of Culture Kitchen. She has a background in jewelry design, metalsmithing and geography. She has taught Spanish to pre-schoolers, metalsmithing to college students, designed decorative accessories for Pottery Barn, and worked in marketing for non-profits. Jennifer uses design as a means to question both societal and business problems to create systemic change. She holds a BS from Dartmouth College and a MFA in Design from Stanford University. Follow her startup on Twitter at @culturekitchsf.