Like many parents, I encourage my kids to get into the kitchen to try their hand at baking cookies, cupcakes or other pastries every now and then. While the benefits of raising young cooks far exceeds any downsides, one of the few complaints I have about my kids’ culinary exploration is the mess of ingredient bags and measuring cups left in their wake, at least until I make them grudgingly head back into the kitchen to clean up after themselves.

All of which has often had me wondering why we haven’t come up with a better way to store and manage ingredients.  In some ways, ingredient storage and management has been stuck in time, benefitting from arrival of low-cost and handy storage systems from the likes of Tupperware and OXO, but yet to benefit from the application of modern technology to streamline the dispensing and measurement of ingredients.

But that will change if Nicole and Christopher Lee have any say in the matter. The married couple have been busy working on the PantryChic storage and dispense system for the past four years, and after a number of starts and stops that included product tweaks, raising funds and the arrival of twins (and a new baby on the way), they are finally pushing the product into production and expect to ship it this year.

I caught up with Christopher at the Housewares Show in Chicago this week to get a tour of the PantryChic system and get an update on the company. According to Christopher, the PantryChic company has had two patents issued and has two more on the way. He also said they are getting significant interest not only retailers and potential consumer product companies who want to license the PantryChic technology, but also from companies specializing in professional and industrial applications who see the PantryChic as a way to enable precise measurement and inventory management of sensitive materials like pharmaceuticals.

As the PantryChic nears production, the company is working on fleshing out the product’s fuller story, including developing an app that guides users through a recipe, as well working on third party platform integrations to enable replenishment of ingredients.

Those looking to get their hands on a PantryChic won’t have much longer to wait. Christopher told me they’ve secured funding and found a manufacturer and expect the PantryChic to ship this year.

You can check my video interview with Christopher above.

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