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Quality Affordable Pots And Pans Made In America? These Guys Did It |

Quality Affordable Pots And Pans Made In America? These Guys Did It

Since we tied the knot five years ago, a whole crop of direct-to-consumer kitchenware brands have entered the marketplace, offering high-quality cookware and cutlery for a fraction of the price Americans have been used to paying. One of the newest, six-month-old Made In, sells stainless steel pots and pans through its website. By cutting out middlemen retailers like Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma, the brand is able to sell skillets starting at $59 and stock pots for $99. And unlike many other brands that have taken their manufacturing overseas, Made In makes all its products in the United States.

While brands like Everlane and Oliver Cabell offer transparency into the cost of manufacturing clothes and accessories, helping to educate consumers about the markups in the fashion industry, the average home cook has no idea what makes one pot more expensive than another. Why spend $200 on an All-Clad skillet when you can get a perfectly usable one for $30 from Target?

Made In cofounders Jake Kalick (left) and Bradford Malt [Photo: courtesy of Made In]

Made In Cofounder Jake Kalick happens to be something of a cookware nerd, since his family has been in the business since 1929 with Harbor, a Boston company that outfitted commercial kitchens with everything from burners to pots and aprons. After graduating from Cornell University, Kalick joined Harbor: “I was wholesaling a lot for top cookware brands like All-Clad and Mauviel, so I had some pretty good insight into what the margins were like,” he says. “I was getting multiple phone calls a week from friends wanting to buy All-Clad at wholesale prices to buy for their friends as wedding gifts.”

Kalick started noticing more and more consolidation in the kitchenware business—most major brands on the market are now owned by massive conglomerates. The French umbrella company Groupe SEB owns All-Clad, Tefal, and WMF, for instance. Calphalon is owned by Newell Brands, which also owns Oster and Sunbeam.

Kitchen Sink Kit [Photo: courtesy of Made In]

Kalick says that this means that companies can use the same factories and manufacturing processes, making small adjustments to materials and design to create premium lines and entry-level lines. “They do a really good job of controlling and leveraging price points,” Kalick says.

Back in May 2016, he had the idea to create a line of higher-end cookware and market it to millennial consumers online. He cofounded Made In with Bradford Malt, who had previously run e-commerce businesses, and the pair spent more than a year learning the intricacies of the supply chain. “Everlane, and how transparent they were, was a huge inspiration for us,” Malt says. “The demographic we’re going after—millennials—care so much about what goes into their product, where it comes from, that it’s ethical. We wanted to nail that down even before we came up with a brand name.”

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off
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