A few months ago, I began quietly working on a new side project with my brother Liam. It's called Mother Tongue, and we're planning to launch in Q1 of this year (fingers crossed).  

My professional career has been a bit of an oscillation between the worlds of food and tech. I studied economics in college, wrote my senior thesis about crypto use cases, moved to Mexico to attend cooking school for 6 months, cooked professionally at Hartwood for a year, worked at a food startup, and then dove back into crypto when I joined Multicoin Capital. I've been working full-time in tech since.

Both food and crypto have captured my imagination in different ways, but aside from the Bitcoiner obsession with carnivory and a few supply chain projects that don't interest me much, there's not a lot of crossover between the two. I am intellectually fascinated by the world of crypto, but cooking still has my heart and soul.

Even as I moved away from cooking professionally, I have never stopped cooking at home. I think that learning to cook, and doing it often, is an extremely underrated quality of life improvement. Cooking at home is an amazing way to save money, eat healthier, be creative, enjoy the satisfaction of making something from scratch, enter a flow state, show love to family and friends, connect with other people, and so much more. I think of cooking as an antidote to modernity– so many of us spend our lives in the digital realm, in front of a screen, interacting with others through apps or social networks. Cooking is one of the oldest human traditions– it gets you back in touch with the physical world, allows you to use every one of your physical senses, forces you to be present, and facilitates a connection with nature that many of us don't get enough of. I want more people to experience this.

Mother Tongue was born out of a few things– my brother and my own personal love for cooking, a desire to share that with others, a calling to do more in the world of food, and an idea that we believe has real potential. At the core of Mother Tongue is a mission to get more people cooking at home– cooking more often, more creatively, more stress-free, and having more fun while doing it.

Our first product is a set of everyday cooking spices. We wanted to create something that would allow home cooks to explore more interesting flavors without any extra effort. We've been making our own spice blends and using them in our cooking for years. Using spices is one of the most impactful and low-effort ways to improve and differentiate your cooking. The same thing you might usually cook with just salt and pepper will taste radically different and far more exciting with the application of the right spices. We know that most people aren't going to build up a pantry of 25 different herbs and spices and toast, grind, and blend them themselves. On top of that, many spice blends are either too esoteric or too application-specific for everyday use. We were searching for something different. We didn't see what we wanted in the market, so we made it ourselves.

We designed a set of spice blends that are made to be used every day. They're all delicious, versatile, combinable, and they give you access to a really wide range of flavors in an easy, compact format. We put a lot of effort into sourcing the right ingredients– not just clean, organic ingredients everywhere possible, but also ingredients that taste amazing. Mother Tongue is an intensely personal project, and everything we do is a reflection of our own food philosophy. We cut no corners. All of our future products (and we've got quite a few planned) will be designed with the same goal– helping more people experience the joy of home cooking in a way that's approachable, intuitive, and fun.

Right now, we're hard at work getting our first production run done. Mother Tongue is entirely bootstrapped and self-funded. My brother and I have done everything– sourcing, recipe development, branding, photography, marketing, etc– ourselves and out of our own pockets. It has been a fun and fascinating learning process, and we're excited to soon finally share our products with the world.

In the meantime, I plan to write more on this blog about the process of building and launching Mother Tongue. I have always admired entrepreneurs who build in public and share both their struggles and successes. In just a few months, I've already learned a lot (most of it the hard way). Things like recipe development and product testing are familiar territory for me, but a lot of what I'm doing is brand new– finding and working with co-packers, sourcing custom packaging, designing a visual brand, navigating various e-commerce tools, trying my hand at DTC marketing, etc. I'm having a lot of fun with it, and I'm excited to share my learnings.

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