If cookware recommendations naturally oscillate between the two poles of cost and quality (with hollow valleys between professional-grade, wedding-grade, and sufficient-enough-for-a-bachelor) newcomer Great Jones is adding another dimension to the conversation: style. Recently launched kitchenware start-ups tend to spout paraphrased direct-to-consumer talk, but lose sight of the larger picture by hyper-focusing on general specs. The women behind Great Jones—first-time entrepreneurs Maddy Moelis and Sierra Tishgart—exude a contagious enthusiasm for cooking and rare emotional resonance that reminds us that, behind the cutting board, we’re all humans getting through the day, the week, the month.
The brand’s the Dutchess was developed from real life in city apartments. The enameled cast iron Dutch oven looks great resting on top of the stove (because it’s likely there’s nowhere else to store it) and the same goes for the rest of the line of stainless steel pots and pans with contrasting brass-colored handles and curved tops. Design details like the etched measurements inside the pots and rivet-less interiors (less chance of food getting caught, easier to wash) make the cooking experience shades smoother.
Great Jones is putting extra effort into making themselves accessible beyond the price point, through an invigorating dose of personality and pizzazz after customers have had to deal with faceless, big box retailers for decades. A fun illustrated care guide comes with each Great Jones purchase, and they also have a how-to photo montage on their website. They’ve launched Potline—a sort of therapeutic texting service for recipe ideas and general advice. Though it’s only available two nights a week as they experiment, it’s great knowing that there’s someone out there to help.
Tishgart’s previous role as editor at New York Magazine’s Grub Street especially comes into play for thinking outside the box. “I do think my time as a journalist has helped me as an entrepreneur. I first noticed that in the research phase, when we needed to find the right people to help us launch Great Jones, and reach out to total strangers asking for their time and energy,” Tishgart tells CH.
Her and Moelis’ storytelling abilities shine best in Great Jones’ online Digest, one of the few brand-adjacent blogs we’ve come across that’s genuinely engaging and worthy of repeat visits. Digest takes a look inside the kitchens of creatives and finds out what gets their burners burning—along with recipes and guides. “The goal of Digest is to communicate why people cook, not just how—and also move away from clickbait-y ‘hands and pans’ content that doesn’t actually make cooking any easier,” she says. “We see Great Jones as a company that can remove all kinds of barriers to home cooking, not just produce cookware.”
Today, Great Jones has expanded the vintage-inspired colorways for the Dutchess to include long-requested black and white (aka salt and pepper) options. Their campaign lookbook, appropriately, was shot in black and white at Chateau Marmont, mixing minimalism with timeless glam. “We specifically referenced black-and-white shots of Led Zeppelin in the kitchenettes at the Chateau. The hotel also symbolized to us, old Hollywood and film noir, which felt perfect,” says Tishgart. But they don’t lose sight of reality: “We gathered a diverse group of creative friends who call LA their home: Lynda Obst on the stove, an all-star producer, Ari Taymor, one of the country’s best chefs, and Gillian Ferguson, an acclaimed food writer, and her newborn Winona. We always use ‘real people’ in our campaign shoots—people we know have a deep love of food.”
Images courtesy of Great Jones