Exactly one year ago today, we launched our ‘Chups Kickstarter campaign, hoping to raise $12,000 to launch our fruit ketchup crusade. Well, the response floored us and we’ve been off and running ever since!
As it usually goes when one stops to reflect on a significant period of time, it’s hard to believe a whole year has passed. (Time flies, right?) That said, some parts of the last year feel like ages ago.
We felt it only appropriate to take the time to highlight some of the biggest milestones we reached in our first year.
- January 21, 2014: “A Ketchup Revolution” Kickstarter launched. Only 2 days in we reached the halfway point of our $12,000 goal. Ten days in we reached $12,000.
- March 7, 2014: Kickstarter campaign concludes! After 40 days we managed to raise $22,000 – almost 200% of original goal.
- ‘Chups starts production at Union Kitchen! Moving from our home kitchen to UK, a food incubator in DC, was a game-changer for us. Not only did they help us become officially ready for market, but we’ve met lifelong friends through their supportive community.
- Through some serendipitous happenings, ‘Chups was featured in Food & Wine magazine!!! (Thanks, Julia Heffelfinger!) Something many food-related professionals and businesses wait their whole career for, we felt especially lucky. But the surreal opportunity also gave us proof that we were onto something with our ketchup concept.
- Though we had met and sampled ‘Chups with José Andrés months earlier and had been in touch with his team, June was when we finally received official word that ‘Chups would be used at the brand new America Eats Tavern restaurant. Not only that, but when the menu was released, ‘Chups was already branded in a separate ketchup section. Again, further indication that we may be on to something…
- We hosted a successful ‘Chups launch event at UK, block party-style!
- The Washington Post profiled ‘Chups in its very own feature article prior to the July 4th holiday!
- ‘Chups starts wholesaling to local stores and exhibiting at events, first participating in Yelp’s 10 year anniversary and Union Kitchen’s “The Lot”.
- We continue to grow our local presence and start in-store tastings.
- We start our holiday market parade – Taste of DC, MetroCooking DC, Parcel Market, Heurich House, and Yelp’s Totally Bazaar.
- ‘Chups hosts two successful pop-ups at Union Market.
- ‘Chups is chosen as a best holiday gift on Food & Wine magazine’s website
- ‘Chups team travels to San Francisco to receive a 2015 Good Food Award! We submitted two varieties and won for our mango ‘Chups (submitted to the “Pickle” category).
So many wonderful memories! Of course, it hasn’t been all roses and puppies and we’ve met some serious speed bumps along the way. We battled through brand new problems: wavering fruit availability, running out of jars, too much demand, and not enough. But we’ve learned, we’ve adapted, we’ve created, we’ve curved, we’ve yawned, we’ve cried, we’ve asked ourselves over and over – WHAT ARE WE DOING?! We’ve also realized that if we weren’t asking ourselves that, we probably wouldn’t be human.
Thanks so much for supporting us on this crazy ride. We have big plans for 2015 and hope you’ll continue to help spread the ketchup revolution. As we all know, these kinds of things don’t happen overnight. 😉