Kitchin is a mobile app to transform the way you digitally see, plan and cook with your groceries! We got the chance to chat with founder, Corey Anand about Kitchin’s story, success and future.
The Big Plate: What’s on your plate?
Kitchin: We have been hard at work ever since graduating from the Straight Shot accelerator in September – we came back to Chicago with our plate full. The traction we built from the summer has helped us gain attention from potentially new grocery retailers, investors and customers. We have made great progress with the enhancements to the Kitchin product and look forward to rolling out our Kitchin Pilot in Chicago in January 2015. Our pilot program in Chicago will help scale our business, engage new partners and better understand our customers. We look forward to a busy and prosperous 2015.
TBP: How did the idea of Kitchin start?
Kitchin: The idea for Kitchin sparked when I noticed a major digital gap between the grocery shopping experience and how we plan and prepare our daily meals. I was not only struggling with discovering what to make with the ingredients on hand, but I noticed this pain point with the many busy executive moms I worked alongside. Hectic lifestyle schedules can really dampen our ability to plan and prepare meals, not to mention exhausting to plan at the end of the day. Thus, I began to think – what if there was a way to create a mobile digital pantry that creates meals for you based on the ingredients purchased from the grocery store and on hand? At that point, Kitchin was born and I have never looked back.
TBP: What has been the biggest challenge since starting your startup?
Kitchin: The grocery retail industry. The industry hasn’t seen any digital change in the past 90 years and change scares these retailers. It wasn’t until 2013 that grocery retailers began to realize their lack of digital innovation was hurting their ability to actively connect with their digital savvy and mobile demanding customers. With the sudden spike in online grocery opportunities, retailers are finally beginning to open their doors to innovative ideas and solutions that can keep them competitive in this digital age. As Kitchin continues to enter the market, we receive continuous feedback from retailer and customers that our business solves this digital gap.
TBP: How did joining Straight Shot help Kitchin, and what were the most valuable lessons you learned?
Kitchin: Straight Shot has helped Kitchin by providing the essential tools to grow a successful and sustainable company. In just three short months, we gained significant knowledge in several aspects of operating a business and learning how to scale our business. Kitchen was very lucky to have access to such incredible mentors whom helped us understand critical roles in building the business and guide us through our maturation. Straight Shot taught me how to be a better leader, understand what it means to be a CEO, and how to deal with fast-paced change in the startup world.
TBP: Kitchin is currently in pilot mode in Chicago, why did you choose Chicago and what do you see in Kitchin’s future?
Kitchin: I chose Chicago not only because I have lived here for 20 years but also because this city is a perfect launchpad for entrepreneurial business and success. Chicago is an amazing foundation to launch a startup with exponential resources for growth, support and scalability. I love the startup atmosphere in this city and there comes great pride to say you have launched a business in Chicago, let alone the Midwest. Our current Chicago pilot stores are great partners that have been very supportive during the building and launching phases of Kitchin. We see Kitchin as being the go-to service for customers after completing their grocery shopping while being the mobile digital solution for retailers. We want Kitchin to be in every kitchen.
TBP: Best startup advice you’ve ever received?
Kitchin: There will be incredible ups and incredible downs when owning a startup – but take the ups to fuel through the downs and take the downs to appreciate and continue for the ups.