Where It All Began

 Assorted crostini: Gorgonzola fig with balsamic glaze, Raspberry brie, & Lemon zest ricotta with pear, glazed walnut, and honey drizzle.

Assorted crostini: Gorgonzola fig with balsamic glaze, Raspberry brie, & Lemon zest ricotta with pear, glazed walnut, and honey drizzle.

Behind Kitchenwise™, there is a mom with three girls who love to help in the kitchen. I’m Laura Ivy, wife, mother, retail merchandiser, food enthusiast, and founder of Kitchenwise.  For my family, being in the kitchen together is an everyday occurrence.  I grew up in a big Italian family where cooking and helping out in the kitchen was a way of life. Sometimes we had several generations in there at once, passing on those all-important traditions and old world techniques; fresh food, seasonal ingredients (most grown in our garden) and everything bursting with flavor.

In keeping with the fresh-from-scratch traditions that I learned from my own mother and grandparents, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen with my girls talking about how food should be fresh, clean, healthy, and above all made with passion.  Who would have known that all these years later, these principles would apply to my new brand?

Kitchenwise was born with a mission to find the perfect balance in design, safety, and cleanliness; smart products that look good and work even better.  For me, preparing a great meal starts with fresh ingredients, a clear vision (even when I’m just winging it), and a clean kitchen. 

 Chopping the last of the salad veggies while the steak rests.

Chopping the last of the salad veggies while the steak rests.

When my daughters were little and I was making something in the kitchen they were always eager to help, especially if beaters were involved, of course. Pulling up their little step stools to see over the countertop with their aprons on, they were ready to dive in.  Like most kids, my girls wanted to mimic what they saw me doing in the kitchen.  As they have gotten older, I have started letting them help with more tasks, under close supervision, of course. 

Safety is always on my mind when we’re in the kitchen together.  We all know that most household accidents happen in the kitchen; cuts and burns send plenty of folks to the dreaded ER every day.  While a hot pan on the stove is certainly a concern for me, it’s our kitchen knives that have always caused me the most worry, but not for the reason you might think. 

I’m a clean-as-you-go cook, so there is always a sink of hot, soapy water waiting while we are prepping a meal.  It just makes the cleanup at the end of a meal seem a bit less daunting.  My girls have picked up on this as well, but letting them wash our knives by hand is just not something I am comfortable with.  As soon as they head for the sink, I find myself trying to quickly remove any sharp knives that I tossed in there.  It’s like putting my hand into a bowl of piranhas while trying to not get bitten.

Ideally, knives should be hand washed, dried, and put way as soon as you are done with them; not letting them sit on the counter to get crusty, no extended soaks in the sink, and definitely no trips through the dishwasher. But there was no way I was going to let even my oldest just grab a basic sponge and go to town on our knives. 

My daughters’ eagerness to dive into a sink of dirty dishes really got me thinking that there had to be a safer way to clean the sharp stuff; something that I felt comfortable letting them use without having to watch their every move.  Something better than a folded sponge, but short of a cut-proof butcher’s glove.  So I looked in stores and online, and came up empty.  After reading endless blog posts and articles, I found that most people would rather compromise their knives by putting them in the dishwasher than risk getting cut by hand washing them. 

When I couldn’t find anything that would fit my needs, I decided to get creative.  I tested a few concepts in my own kitchen with my girls and we really felt like we were on to something.  With a basic concept and crude prototype in hand, I reached out to some friends at Silicon Valley design firm WAGIC.  Working together, we designed and created Skrub™, the first product to be launched under the Kitchenwise brand.  

Skrub is a product that takes some of the scary stuff out of washing knives.  It’s got a cut-proof frame, is comfortable for hands both big and small, and has all the scrubbing power you will need.  Check it out on Kickstarter: Skrub Cleaning System