On the Menu for 2019
As the creator of Heirloom Family Kitchen, I want to thank you for being part of this lively, fast-growing community. Our mission to create the most inspiring setting for connection and memory-making with the ones you love leads us to all kinds of teachable moments, opportunities to grow, and the occasional (delicious) mess. I couldn’t love it more. As I gear up for the new year, I decided to sit down for a little Fast Facts about why we do what we do and what’s in store for 2019.
Why is cooking so important to us?
Growing up, I was raised by my great-grandmother and grandmother. It was a non-traditional, traditional upbringing. My beginnings were rooted in the value of hard work, being humble, and family.
It was in our kitchen that family came to life. The kitchen was the place where we sat together for dinner each night, often joined by my aunts, uncle, and cousins, friends and family. We sat and talked, games were played, we laughed and sometimes cried over a snack or cup of tea. Things were always made from scratch based on recipes that had been clipped from magazines, dog-earred in cookbooks, and passed down from grandmothers, aunts, and friends.
Growing up, the kitchen was the heart of my home. The moments shared, memories and recipes made in the kitchen make me who I am today. I believe that cooking is a great connector and that there is no better place than in the kitchen to truly connect and make memories with the ones you love. And, isn't that really what life's about?
What inspired the creation of Heirloom Family Kitchen?
A few years ago, I found myself working in my dream job leading global marketing and eCommerce operations for a famous gourmet grocer. My days were spent immersed in the world of food culture in the United States, and the World. And, my days were spent away from my two children, an infant and toddler at the time. I had made a promise to myself when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, Oliver, that my children would grow up in a home alive with love and a home where we all would gather around the table nightly to share a meal while sharing details about our day. I was breaking that promise.
I loved my job. I love food. I love my family above all else. I couldn’t be the only person struggling. I knew I wasn’t the only person feeling as though they were losing themselves, caught on a treadmill running full speed but going nowhere.
I began thinking about my childhood, memories, what shaped me. That led me down the road of looking inward, and outward, researching the impact of societal and cultural changes, our relationship with family, the evolution of marketplaces and retail over the past 100 years. I became enthralled with the history of town squares and the evolution of retail stores from community gathering places - inclusive of cafés and gardens and all sorts of places for people to hang out - to what they are today.
Today's retail experience is sterile and isolating...it’s downright depressing with clutter and bad lighting. We are herded like cattle down aisles or shuffled from department to department, overwhelmed with a sea of products, packaging, claims, big red or yellow discount tags and no help let alone a way to connect, to share. And yet as assortments have grown you still find yourself spending the day in the car bustling from store to store. Why?
What’s most important in life is spending time with others developing deep relationships and making memories. That’s what I aim to create in Heirloom Family Kitchen - a place where individuals and families of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds come together, create together, and share together. I truly believe that there is no better place to connect to one another than in the kitchen.
What’s different about how you approach to enabling people to cook more?
I understand the barriers to being in the kitchen: time, inspiration, and isolation. I don’t think it’s reasonable to simply give someone a recipe, a great ingredient, or even a meal kit alone and expect them to have so much fun with it their relationship with their kitchen, cooking, and even their family changes. My vision is to create an eco-system of products and services that support a family’s food needs, from planning to plate, and builds a solution to each barrier, uniquely and holistically.
So, Heirloom will be the first all-inclusive “Kitchen Concierge” business, providing Kitchen Connects like classes, tastings, and community dinners designed to solve the problem of isolation. Kitchen Provisions aim to tackle the barrier of lack of time, providing Meal Kits and time-saving ingredients and tools. And by providing both recipes and meal plans or menu’s we can help inspire. At the end of a long day, cooking can’t be complicated. If it is, you won’t do it. So, our recipes aim beyond what would be expected of “family-friendly” food but aren’t “gourmet” or “haute cuisine” either. As confidence grows in knowledge of food, and the ability to prepare it to your liking, I believe people will experiment more with dishes they may have never heard of.
I really want people to feel as though Heirloom is a personal assistant to them, giving them what they need when they need it.
And, we’ll be inclusive for adults and children alike. Kids are highly capable and can be a help rather than a hindrance in the kitchen. Heirloom will focus on food knowledge, using immersive and improvisational approaches to cooking. The goal is to find your palate and the excitement that can come by knowing what flavors you like and what works well together - I want adults and littles alike to learn to be recipe experimenters, not just recipe followers. Developing palates require patience and understanding—it can be challenging, but if you can acknowledge that it really is a journey, you’re more likely to come along for the ride and have fun.
What can someone look forward to seeing from Heirloom Family Kitchen in 2019?
In July 2018, my vision took its first step towards becoming a reality with the launch of Heirloom Family Kitchen online. Today, HeirloomFamilyKitchen.com provides. Kitchen Provisions, a thoughtfully curated collection of artisan-made items that features local makers and farmers, Heirloom Recipes and Weekly Menus.
This year, in 2019, we’ll be introducing gifts – both curated ready-made and personalized – for every day and special occasions alike. Each gift will be designed to inspire interaction in the kitchen.
I’m also working on pop-ups, collaborations, tweaks to our brand and working towards a storefront in our home of Birmingham, Alabama! I hope to be able to create a modern town square, a place that provides opportunities for coming together, learning, creation, and sharing designed for inclusiveness and all-ages.
I’d love to hear from you...I need your help to understand what communities might like from a personal shopping experience or community gathering space.
Feeling inspired but don’t know where to start? Heirloom Family Kitchen offers FREE Weekly Menus that help make it easier to plan your daily meals and find time for your family to connect in the kitchen. Click here to learn more.