|Press Contact||Andrea Chan|
Union Kitchen's mission is to build successful food businesses. When they build successful food businesses, something wonderful happens. Jobs are created. They develop wealth in our local economy and they get to celebrate culture, diversity, and vibrancy. They, collectively, build our city and we build our community.
Union Kitchen is a food business accelerator. They empower food founders with our ecosystem, roadmap, and expertise from launch to scale.
It started with a cookie…
Cullen, his sister, and his friends opened the Blind Dog Cafe in 2012. The Blind Dog Cafe quickly became a popular community gathering spot, known for a great sense of belonging and the best chocolate chip cookies.
The Blind Dog Cookie (still served fresh in their stores) became so popular that they couldn’t keep up with demand! They needed more production space to keep up. They invited our food business friends to join us and we created the first shared commercial kitchen in DC.
While running their cookie company, they noticed that their friends were having a hard time growing. They were so proud that they were starting companies, delighting customers, and bringing excitement and vibrancy to the DC food scene. They had to find a way to help them be successful!
In particular, they noticed the challenges around manufacturing, distribution, and sales. Their answer? Pair their expertise in Consumer Packaged Goods through the Accelerator with a manufacturing infrastructure of Kitchen, Distribution, and Retail Stores that lowered the barriers to entry for local businesses.
CEO and Founder
As CEO and Founder of Union Kitchen, Cullen Gilchrist has partnered with food businesses of all sizes to grow and scale their success. Cullen and his team have worked with over 120 exceptional food businesses to connect food founders with the resources, capital, and networks that they need to establish sustainable success. Cullen oversees the operations and management of Union Kitchen’s Accelerator as well as Union Kitchen’s Kitchen, Distribution, and Stores.
Elena is the Vice President at Union Kitchen. In her role, she works closely with food and beverage entrepreneurs to build successful businesses. From refining their concept to raising investment, Elena advises more than 100 packaged goods companies on how to create products that meet market demand, build sustainable business models, and scale effectively. She sits on the board of numerous food and beverage brands.
In her previous roles, Elena advised private companies, nonprofit agencies, and government entities on how to foster entrepreneurship. Rosenblum graduated Cum Laude from the College of William & Mary with a BA in Economics.