This project's funding goal was not reached on August 27, 2014.
About this project
The PantryChic™ Story:
It all began one cold December in a tiny New York City apartment with inventor and entrepreneur Nicole Sollazzo Lee struggling to bake the perfect batch of cookies for her friends and family. Nicole grew up with fond memories of baking with her grandmother and wanted to replicate her “secret” cookie recipe. After several less than perfect batches, a sink full of dishes and ingredients everywhere Nicole was left tired and frustrated. She thought to herself, I wish I could just place a bowl under each ingredient canister, push a button and the exact amount of every ingredient would be dispensed.
Two patents, an award winning product designer, and a Silicon Valley design and engineering firm later, we are close to making Nicole’s dream a reality with the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™. This product will represent a brand new category in the $2.0 Billion food preparation market but more importantly, it will help people the world over fall in love with baking again!
The Baker’s Dilemma – Why Measuring Matters:
So why did Nicole struggle with her cookies that fateful December day? Whether you are an occasional home baker or a professional pastry chef, accurately measuring ingredients is critical. Due to the chemistry involved in baking, recipes require very precise measurements. The correct balance of ingredients will not only ensure that food turns out tasting great, but also that the ratios of ingredients produce the proper consistency and density. There is nothing worse than spending all your time preparing a recipe, to end up with a sub-par or even worse, an inedible finished product just because you didn’t measure properly.
Weighing ingredients is more accurate than using volume measures such as measuring cups and spoons, which is why professional bakers routinely weigh their dry ingredients to remove variability. Despite this knowledge, many American home bakers still commonly use their measuring cups when preparing recipes because it's how they were taught and it’s easier than converting recipes from volume to weight.
The Measuring Experiment:
We conducted an experiment during a focus group including a mix of casual and experienced bakers. Two volunteers were selected and asked to measure 1 cup of flour from the same canister utilizing the same measuring cup. After each volunteer measured 1 cup of flour, we asked them to place their cup on a scale. What did we find? Each cup had a different weight. How might this affect your recipe? You may end up with a denser, dryer batter, or worse, a cake that collapses!
PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™:
Why is the PantryChic Store & Dispense System™ Unique?
The PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™ removes all the guesswork for you. Use the unit of measure your recipe calls for and the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™ does the conversions for you for over 50 pre-programmed ingredients! Now you can get the best of both worlds, accuracy without the complexity. Even better, you don't have all those extra measuring utensils and dirty countertops to clean because the PantryChic™ Store and Dispense System™ automatically dispenses precisely from the canister straight into your bowl.
How it works:
PantryChic's Advanced Technology - Bluetooth®
The recipe preparation workflow has changed and computers, tablets and smartphones have become fixtures in the kitchen as more and more consumers go to the internet to look up recipes. As a result, we thought it would be essential that Bluetooth® technology be integrated into the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™.
Bluetooth® integration takes the user experience a step further by allowing users to control their Store & Dispense System™ and facilitate a “recipe walk through” with Apps built for their various devices. This will allow the user to:
- Use their tablets to control the device
- Easily 'walk through' a recipe with Apps that will instruct the user to insert each canister in the order the recipe calls for so it can dispense the proper amount of each ingredient without the user having to program anything into the system.
- Track frequency of recipe use
- Modify and store recipes according to user preferences
We completed breadboard and "proof of concept" testing to identify the most efficient and effective dispensing mechanism...
We leveraged 3D Printing to test parts and build a Functioning Prototype...
We are fine-tuning the functional prototype to get it ready for tooling & manufacturing
Food Preparation Appliance Market Opportunity:
Like many entrepreneurs we began this journey trying to solve a common problem but through research we have found that the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™ represents a new category in a very attractive market:
•U.S. food prep appliance market grew 5% to $2.0B in 2012 (3% unit growth to 31 million units)*
•2% unit CAGR through 2017 to 34 million units*
•“Foodie culture,” slow economy and healthy eating trends have contributed to growth*
•Countertop mixers grew 8% in 2012 to 2.0 million units*
•Popular wedding registry items*
*Euromonitor International, February 2012
Baking has been around since humans learned to grind wheat and corn into flour. Most of us eat at least one baked good every day, whether we start the day with pancakes, eat a sandwich for lunch, or spoil ourselves with a delicious cookie or cupcakes. To accommodate our busy lifestyles the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™ will revolutionize the home baking experience by making it more convenient and consistent while minimizing clean up. We are confident that the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™ will help people fall in love with baking again! We have decided to partner with Kickstarter to connect with you and those interested in bringing innovation to a space that hasn’t changed in more than a century.
We sincerely hope you become as passionate about the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™ as we are and invite you to participate in our journey as we strive to bring a modern approach to a traditional pastime. We are very close to realizing our dream but need to raise funds to help finance further testing, validation and tooling for manufacturing.
Use of the Funds
We’ve set a goal of $50,000, to help us build the tooling for manufacturing and production of the PantryChic™ Store and Dispense System™ for an anticipated launch as soon as February 2015.
Every dollar raised by Kickstarter will go towards further testing, validation and tooling for manufacturing and packaging of the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™.
Please Note: The money raised by our generous backers will only be transferred to PantryChic if the campaign reaches or exceeds its goal of $50,000 by the end of the campaign on Wednesday, August 27th at 8pm EST.
Achieving our KickStarter goal will represent a significant milestone towards bringing the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™ to homes nationwide! By helping us unlock our stretch goals, you'll receive special perks that'll make your PantryChic Store & Dispense System even more convenient!
Manufacturing & Timeline:
Our next step is to finalize the tooling and molds and lock in the components for the production devices including the custom chip boards, LED display, Bluetooth® connectivity and scale.Our developers will finalize the firmware and begin building apps to facilitate the recipe walk through. Once we are satisfied with our final prototype and confident that we can deliver a high quality product we will begin our first production run and ship our backers their PantryChic™ Store & Dispense Systems™.
Meet The Pantry Chic™ Team:
Meet the creators and contributors of the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™.President & Inventor, Nicole Sollazzo Lee has assembled an exceptional team with a wealth of knowledge and experience in product design, engineering, sales and marketing.Collectively the team has built and managed successful high profile brands for companies including Ford, Nike, Apple and Johnson & Johnson.
Nicole Sollazzo Lee – President and CEO of Nik of Time, Inc™.
Nicole, the inventor and founder of the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™, has over 11 years of successful sales and marketing experience in the healthcare and media industries with 3 major fortune 500 companies: Clear Channel Communications, Johnson & Johnson and da Vinci robotic surgical system maker Intuitive Surgical. A proud graduate of Villanova University, Nicole holds 2 US Patents and several sales awards for achieving exponential growth.
Angelika Schubert-Belle - Product Designer & Co-owner of Carbon Project, Inc.
Angelika co-founded Carbon Project Inc. in 2001, a strategic and experience based design consultancy offering a holistic approach to design and business. She bringsover 20 years of experience in brand strategy and product design working with brands such as: Ford, Nike, Black & Decker, and Whirlpool to name a few.
Angelika holds a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors in Industrial Design from the Art Center College of Design USA. She has received over 12 international design excellence awards from competitions, such as IDSA, IF Awards and Design Innovations and is a holder of 12 international design patents.
Risks and challenges
We have built a functional prototype, performed various degrees of performance testing and are well on the way to finalizing our production prototype. Our business model has been to leverage our strengths and partner with experts such as Focus Product Design to assist us in areas where we have less experience to ensure we hit our goals. At this stage of the development process we are confident that we will be able bring the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™ to market but recognize that there are several risks that could impact our timelines.
Production Prototype Testing – We test all our prototypes with over 50 ingredients to ensure that there are no functional issues that would preclude the device from working with a particular ingredient and to ensure that the device will perform properly with years of use. If any issues are discovered we may need to modify the design.
Parts and Tooling – Nik of Time, Inc. will own all of the tooling and molds required to produce the PantryChic™ Store & Dispense System™ but have contracted with several manufacturers to produce the parts and complete the final assembly. As we are dependent on our manufacturers to provide us with high quality parts there is always the risk of part shortages, delays and/or quality issues that could delay production. We have contingencies in place and backup suppliers to mitigate some of this risk.
Quality Control – Our manufacturers and project managers have assured us that proper processes are in place to ensure quality throughout the manufacturing process and each production unit will be tested before it is shipped to customers. If our manufacturers and partners do not meet our quality standards or if any design flaws are discovered in the production units it may delay the project as we take steps to address any issues.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
PantryChic Store & Dispense System™ dimensions:
• Base Unit: 9"L x 6.5"W x 10.65"H
• Large Canister (large enough for a full 5lb bag of flour): 9"L x 6"W x 7.3"H
• Medium Canister: 9"L x 6"W x 3.65"H
• Small Canister (Dual canister): 9"L x 6"W x 3.65"H (will be available at launch)
The main unit can easily be wiped down with a sponge or washcloth. We purposely put the dispensing mechanism in each canister to avoid ingredient cross contamination. A motor engages the dispensing mechanism in the canister and the ingredients fall through a cutout in the base unit.
The dispensing mechanism in each canister pulls apart for easy cleaning.
Yes. The PantryChic Store & Dispense System™ was designed with you in mind; we want to deliver a one of a kind product that offers convenience while minimizing disruption in your day-to-day food preparation routine. How did we accomplish this? Two ways:
1. The base unit with the largest canister attached (16.28") was designed to fit comfortably under the average United States kitchen countertop (which measures 18”).
2. The canisters were designed to be aesthetically pleasing and efficient. They are rectangular and stackable to maximize your pantry storage space or displayed on your countertop and shelving.
The PantryChic Store & Dispense System has been tested with over 50 ingredients. It has the ability to store and dispense a variety of ingredients including (but not limited to):
- All types of Flour and fine powdered ingredients
- Grains (rice, quinoa, oats etc.)
- Dried beans (kidney, peas, etc.)
- Cereal (flakes, cheerios and the like)
We are constantly testing new ingredients and so the list is quite dynamic!
Brown sugar cost us an additional 31 hours of development and we felt it was important to provide an airtight canister for such a challenging ingredient. We came up with a mechanism that includes additional agitators to loosen it up. A fresh bag works easily but the issue is loosening sugar that has been sitting in the cabinet for a few months.
Yes we currently have over 50 ingredients that we are in the process of validating. We welcome recommendations to add to this list:
Beans - Black
Beans - Garbanzo
Beans - Kidney
Beans - Lentils
Beans - Peas
Brown Sugar - Dark
Brown Sugar - Light
Chocolate Chips - butterscotch
Chocolate Chips - milk chocolate
Chocolate Chips - peanut butter
Chocolate Chips - toffee
Chocolate Chips - Unsweetened chocolate
Chocolate Chips -Bittersweet
Chocolate chips -White
Cinnamon - Ground
Coffee - Grinds
Coffee - Instant
Crumbs - Bread
Crumbs - Cookie
Crumbs - Graham Cracker
Flour - All Purpose
Flour - Almond
Flour - Bread
Flour - Brown Rice
Flour - Cake
Flour - Flax
Flour - Garfava
Flour - Gluten Free
Flour - Millet
Flour - Pastry
Flour - Potato
Flour - Quinoa
Flour - Self Rising
Flour - Semolina
Flour - Sorghum
Flour - Tapioca
Flour - White Rice
Flour - Whole Wheat
Nuts - Almonds Chopped
Nuts - Almonds Slivers
Nuts - Almonds Whole
Nuts - Cashews Chopped
Nuts - Cashews Whole
Nuts - Hazelnuts
Nuts - Pecans Chopped
Nuts - Pecans Whole
Nuts - Pistachios Crushed
Nuts - Walnuts Chopped
Nuts - Walnuts Whole
Oats - Rolled
Rice - Brown
Rice - White
Salt - Ionized
Salt - Kosher
Starch - Potato
Starch - Tapioca
Sugar - Granulated
Sugar - Powdered
Sugar - Superfine
- (30 days)