Whether you consider yourself Julia Child reincarnate or not, it is impossible not to lust after Great Jones Cookware. The startup is less than a year old and already taking the cooking world by storm. Maybe it’s because of the founders’ incredibly rich backgrounds, maybe it’s because the pots and pans are almost too pretty to cook in or maybe it’s simply because Great Jones puts the fun back into cooking, but the company is going from strength to strength.
The founders are childhood friends of 20 years who first met at summer camp, where they bonded over a love of Chipwich ice-cream sandwiches and pizza pockets.
Prior to starting Great Jones, Sierra worked as a food editor at New York Magazine and won a James Beard Award for her writing. She also hosted a show for CBS This Morning interviewing chefs. Maddy comes from the startup world; she managed consumer insights for Warby Parker and was a product manager at Zola. They are both first-time entrepreneurs.
The name Great Jones is a nod to Judith Jones, a cookbook author and editor who championed and published the work of Julia Child, Edna Lewis, James Beard, and many others. She died in 2017 at age 93. It’s also a reference to New York, where both founders are proud to live and build their business. We chatted to Sierra about Great Jones’ runaway success.
You've launched the most instagrammable cookware out there! How does it feel? SIERRA TISHGART: Maddy and I are thrilled that people are enjoying Great Jones. Making something "Instagrammable," to us, means we have the opportunity to motivate people to cook more, which is what Great Jones is all about.
What did you set out to accomplish when you launched Great Jones? ST: We wanted to remove a crucial barrier to home cooking — figuring out what you need in your kitchen — and equip and empower people to cook more frequently.
What do people get wrong about gifting and buying pots and pans? ST: People tend to buy a 14-piece cookware set in a single material, like nonstick. To set yourself up for success you want a mix of materials — stainless, nonstick (ours is ceramic, not Teflon), and enameled cast iron. They all serve very different purposes, that's why our Family Style set crosses materials.
If people are only going to buy one pot, which should it be and why? ST: A Dutch oven! You can roast chicken, make pasta, and bake bread in our Dutchess. Plus, it looks wonderful as serving ware, so you can take your pot straight from the stove to your table.
What are you most excited about for the brand this year? ST: We see ourselves as a kitchen brand, not a cookware brand, so we're excited for some upcoming product launches.
What recipe will you be making all summer long? ST: I make pasta every Sunday, and I'm excited to use fresh tomatoes and herbs from my garden!