About this project
We’ve been working on this project for months. And now it’s time to launch the production and see if YOU like it. We think you will. Toothpicks have always been “what you see is what you get”, but not anymore with Castor…
Castor brings thoughtful design and foodie-approved ingredients to the table. Or better yet, directly to your mouth!
In order to bring you a fantastic new toothpick experience, we’ve looked at it from a to z:
- The Castor Toothpick: high quality wood and unique larger design
- Packaging: intuitively shareable contents and perfect pocket size
- Flavor: funky double flavor with natural aromas and powder tips, creating the perfect pairing experience!
- Multi-use: A thicker and longer pick enables many use scenarios – for you or sharing with friends, as a complimentary, flavor-filled self-serving device for hors d'oeuvres, and even for daring mixologists as a new cocktail spear. Castor opens up a wide range of new tasting possibilities.
These 10 funky flavor combinations not only work on a molecular level (we've got the science to back it up) but they simply taste amazing!
- Habanero & Honey
- Bacon & Maple
- Raspberry & Wasabi
- Dill Pickle & Mustard
- Root Beer & Fir
- Ginger & Pineapple
- Marshmallow & Smoke
- Sake & Blueberry
- Kumquat & Beet
- Basil & Strawberry
WARNING: This product may create an addiction!
The Team behind the product
David Desjardins - The Prez
As the captain of PhoodStation’s ship, he’s in charge of guiding PhoodStation into uncharted territory. He came up with this idea after noticing that the toothpick really hadn’t evolved much for thousands of years. David is a chronic multi-tasker and full-time foodie. He’s also a lawyer with a masters degree in intellectual property.
Diane Leclair Bisson - The Industrial Designer
Diane is head of food product R&D. She is both a designer (PhD, RCA) and an anthropologist. With each of her design projects merge cultural research and experimentation with materials and technology to give products a socially and environmentally meaningful value. Diane is the author of Edible: Food as material, les editions du Passage (2009).
Jennifer Charland - The Nutritionist
For Jennifer, food is more than passion. After completing a bachelor of Nutritional Sciences, she trained at Montreal’s premiere professional cooking school in order to become a Master Chef. For PhoodStation, she leads development and scientific testing of Castor’s flavor recipes. She’s also the first person who gets to taste each one!
Kenny Tang - The Numbers Guy
Kenny is the one crunching numbers with a long string of letters... Indeed, he holds the CFA, CPA, CA, and FRM designations. He's always looking out for the bottom line. Kenny is PhoodStation’s financial advisor and a key strategy partner.
A Little Touch of Toothpick History
- The history of the toothpick is as old as mankind.
- Prehistoric age: Toothpicks made of bronze have been found as burial objects in Northern Italy and in the East Alps. It was also well known in Mesopotamia.
- 8th Century: Buddhist monks were using toothpicks.
- 16th Century: Toothpick was introduced into France by the Spanish minister Antonio Pérez, it became fashionable and was often served stuck into dessert fruits. Traditionally, after being used, the toothpicks were either thrown under the table or put behind the ear as a decoration.
- 17th Century: toothpicks were luxury objects similar to jewelry items. They were formed from precious metal and set with expensive stones.
- Renaissance: seen as the “golden age of toothpicks”, when they were freely employed at court dinners by the best mannered individuals.
- Medieval period: Portugal produced straightforward handmade toothpicks and these splints of orangewood gained a reputation for being the best in the world.
- 1869: first toothpick-manufacturing machine developed in the United States by Charles Forster.
- 1885: first production of toothpicks flavored with cinnamon and wintergreen.
- 1993: toothpicks are found in 96 percent of U.S. homes.
- 2011: Ryan Gosling defines cool with continual use of toothpick in the movie Drive.
- 2014: new era of double-flavored gourmet toothpicks – Castor!
“It is the story of Everyone and Everything at Everytime.”
(Credit: The Toothpick: Technology and Culture, Henry Petroski, 2008)
Talking about Castor
"Ever chewed on a toothpick and thought to yourself: Man, this small pointy wood pick sure could use a better flavor profile? Well, then, here's a Kickstarter just for you"
"And with ingredients that would please even the most distinguishing foodie, you'll never be let down no matter which flavor combination you choose"
"The days of drab, ordinary toothpicks may be numbered"
"New look, new taste - more than one to tell the truth - and ... new name. Castor, to be precise" (free translation)
"These new gourmet toothpicks get the experience of never-ending deliciousness pretty damn close"
"The stick part of Castor toothpicks provide a long-lasting, aromatic flavor, while the colorful, dipped powdered tips really pack an initial punch"
"Are you ready for the next big thing in toothpicks?"
"These toothpicks are an amazing project which tastes like it was made by Willy Wonka himself!"
"Wasabi aside, the root beer/fir flavour looks like it’d be a good palate cleanser, and the bacon/maple seems like a no brainer"
"We here at Coolector HQ think there is scope to think bigger and considerably more grandiose, to give the humble toothpick a whole new lease of life"
"Castor is a new line of “gourmet” toothpicks by Montreal food lab PhoodStation that combine two flavors on single stick for a more complex experience than standard flavored toothpicks"
"Castor’s Double Flavored Gourmet Toothpicks are a foodie’s dream"
"Use them when you’re picking your teeth (because yeah, that’s what toothpicks actually are for), for hors d’oeuvres, or whenever you feel like overwhelming your senses with a burst of flavor."
"Castor, a new kind of toothpick for people who have grown bored with the usual thin splinter of wood that usually passes for a toothpick"
"Meet Castor: an epicurean toothpick that boasts a hardier, more elegant physical design and flavor profiles that call to mind the nation’s current fascination with gourmet cupcakes and gastropubs"
"It's no longer about just picking your teeth, it's about enjoying the toothpick experience"
CBC (starting at 8:50)
"The toothpick is on the verge of a spectacular metamorphosis" (free translation)
"We will see a lot of people with a toothpick in their mouth in the next year" (free translation)
"Castor makes us want to pick our teeth all day! (free translation)
"If you had told me a few days ago; "There is this toothpick, and you're really going to love it", I would of probably laughed at you.Suffice it to say, my opinion on the matter has changed after discovering Castor"
Risks and challenges
We started this project with 5 objectives: 1) We wanted to revamp the toothpick image and premiumize the product; 2) the ingredients used for flavoring the picks needed to be all-natural ingredients; 3) packaging was important as it needed to make the content more shareable and be perfectly pocket sized 4) the combination of flavors were to be balanced but still be kick-ass; and last but not least 5) the product was going to be Made in Canada.
When scaling up artisanal craft, it's always a challenge to maintain an affordable price without affecting the overall high quality and design. Once you find the right partners, you need to prevent costly delays in the production line. For that reason, we've allotted an extra three weeks cushion into the project deadline.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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