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Cullen Gilchrist: Connecting Food Founders With the Resources, Capital, and Networks That They Need To Establish Sustainable Success

Our mission is to build successful food businesses. We look for entrepreneurs with a growth mindset who are coachable, open to learn, and ready to put in the work.

Tell us about yourself?

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 130 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.

If you could give one piece of advice to other investors, what would it be?

We believe in founder first. Believe in the person you’re investing in. Make sure they are coachable, committed, and able to execute.

If you could give one piece of advice to startup founders looking to get funding from you, what would you say?

Highlight the expertise you’ve developed. What is your moat? How can you make your expertise defensible?

What do you look for in the founding team of the startups you invest in?

Someone who’s not afraid to learn and will get their hands dirty.

Is there a trait you have noticed predicts success in your investments?

We love investing in individuals with a growth mindset. We find success in working with individuals who are experts in all facets of running their business.

How has COVID impacted your investment strategy and existing investments?

Yes, COVID-19 highlighted the importance of owning core competency of your business. In food, this is typically manufacturing.

What do you see as the emerging areas of technology that you are looking to invest in?

We’re excited about the growth of preservation techniques, including advancements in high pressure pasteurization (HPP).

How do you source new investment opportunities?

We work with entrepreneurs launching CPG food businesses to launch, grow, and scale their businesses through our Accelerator. Since launching our Accelerator, we’ve worked with over 130 businesses.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

By doing things the right way, even when it’s hard. We align with individuals looking to build their business to last from the ground up.

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