Why This Fast-Growing Cookware Company Is Backed by the Alinea Group and Tom Colicchio
When restaurant-world titans like Grant Achatz and Tom Colicchio invest in a company, you pay attention. Made In, a new company whose products are outfitting some of the country's most prestigious kitchens, is set on disrupting an estimated $17-billion-a-year industry: cookware. On Wednesday morning, the company announced the close of its $5 million seed funding round, with high-profile investors like the Alinea Group's Achatz and Nick Kokonas joining Colicchio, an existing investor.
Cofounders Jake Kalick and Chip Malt, who launched the company in 2017, hoped to reduce the price of professional-grade cookware with products that were accessible to both restaurant chefs and home cooks. According to a company statement, Made In’s product portfolio experienced over 1050% growth last year, while growing a waitlist of over 10,000 customers for new product launches like for the Carbon Steel Skillet and Universal Lid. In 2018, TIME Magazine awarded Made In its "Best Invention of the Year Award" for their Universal Lid, a $49 product that can adjust to top pots and pans of numerous sizes.
Made In products have already made their way into some very high-profile restaurants, including Alinea, Next, Roister, Birdie G's, Craft, Konbi, and Bouillion, and Kokanas says he uses them at home, as well.
"Over the last ten years, we've had every cookware company in the country, including most of the new direct-to-consumer ones, come to us with various forms of partnership or sponsorship requests, but we didn't feel like anyone in cookware was doing anything unique or different," Kokonas tells Food & Wine. Just a couple weeks after an initial phone call with Made In, the Alinea Group decided to invest. "Grant's teams need to maneuver pans for hundreds of dishes every night, and they loved the hand feel and heat distribution compared to the competition."
The announcement follows Made In’s Seed-1 Funding in August, which brings the company's total funding to $8.33 million, according to a company statement.