Last month, I attended the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC 2015) in Seattle, WA.
This post, Essential Kitchen Tools From the Chef’n® Headquarters Tour, is #2 of a 3-part series from my conference experience. Be sure to check out my Food Bloggers To Follow post. It’s a hefty list of dedicated, hard-working food bloggers I met at IFBC.
As a conference attendee, we toured the newly relocated headquarters of Chef’n® Corporation….a popular housewares company that’s been innovating some cool kitchen tools since the 80’s.
The entire tour was awesome, but they had me at our very first stop, the Chef’n® lab. This is where product prototypes are made. I’m such a sucker for engineering…and I happen to LOVE kitchen tools.
In the lab, we saw versions of various gadgets, from conceptual models to detailed prototypes. I had 20 questions, but didn’t want to wreck the tour schedule, so I managed to contain myself. All that really mattered to me was that this was the problem-solving room where ideas would become tangible, Chef’n® products.
On the tour, we passed the PepperBall wall…I had to snap the display of this iconic kitchen tool. Even if you’re not well-acquainted with Chef’n® tools, I bet you’ve seen, or used, the PepperBall or the SaltBall.
Did you know it’s the first, one-handed pepper/salt grinder to ever hit the market? Very cool!
We also toured the product wall that displays several Chef’n® kitchen products currently in the marketplace. These guys make a tool for nearly every kitchen task! You can visit the Chef’n® website for product details, but they share a brand partnership with Amazon, so that’s where I’ll go to purchase their products.
Chef’n® product wall image courtesy of Johnny Duong from A Punk, A Camera, and and Empty Stomach blog
Our tour ended with a delicious spread catered by Seattle’s Tuxedo’s and Tennis Shoes, a local company who really has their food act together. Yummmmm!
We lunched in the Chef’n® kitchen on the building’s top floor with parallel access to the rooftop patio. Yeah, sounds like a real bummer place to work, huh?!
Here, we had the pleasure of meeting CEO and pioneer Chef’n® founder/inventor, David Holcomb. Whatta guy!
In 1982, David started the business with $500 and his invention, the Garlic Machine, which is still being manufactured and is available for purchase!
Like a true hustler, David used his first $500 loan to invest in new threads and the opportunity to get in front of the right people.
He recalled the meeting where he pitched the Garlic Machine to…the right people. After demonstrating the product to them, he said they took a loooooong pause, looked at each other, and said, “we love it!”. This was the birth of Chef’n®.
As David tells us this story, which btw is going straight to my entrepreneurial heart, tears are rolling down my cheeks. I just love a good success story! (and yes, sometimes I cry when I watch Shark Tank)
David also demonstrated, backed by much humor, some current Chef’n® kitchen tools. We even took a few of these guys home. Swag bag! I’ve included purchase links for you curious types.
*Note: If you purchase through links I’ve provided, I receive an affiliate commission for referring you (at no extra cost to you). So, let me know if you have any questions!
Sooooo, while touring the Chef’n® headquarters, I quickly learned the team is gracious, helpful, and friendly! You can tell these folks hustle and have fun on the job. I want to offer a special thanks to Sarah, Marketing Director at Chef’n® for graciously helping me confirm details in this post.
This is a company I gladly support! It’s no wonder they’ve won multiple awards and are recognized by Seattle Business Magazine as ‘100 Best Places To Work’ for six consecutive years.
Be sure to visit the Chef’n® website to check out everything else they’re doing over there!
Thanks so much to Chef’n® for hosting our 2015 IFBC field trip! Cheers to your innovation and continued success!