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Cooking with Caitlin (CWC) is a 360-degree brand powered by the many and varied dimensions of traditional and new media. Centered at cookingwithcaitlin.com, and built upon the connective nature of food, we are a marketing house grounded in strong and relevant partnerships. Using video, television, radio, print, in-person events, and the many avenues of social media, we – Kelly and Caitlin – have sparked and nurtured a community of food- and housewares-devotees. By carefully aligning brands with our own, and custom-tailoring programming to meet their message, we have been optimizing our collective strength since 2007.
CWC began Mother’s Day 2007, on a front porch in Cincinnati, over a bowl of cherries. Caitlin was a brand new wife and mom, and had recently come home having completed culinary school in Chicago. Together, she and Kelly hatched a plan to be their own bosses in a food-focused business built around their growing families. The initial idea was simple: catering. A nights-and-weekends company that would give Caitlin the opportunity to play with food and Kelly a reason to plan some parties.
It did not take long before the grueling nature of catering was revealed – long hours on foot, weekends gobbled up by work. Just months into launching CWC, Kelly and Caitlin shifted their focus to a web-based business. So as to remain a self-funded enterprise, they continued the catering for three years, but began posting all of Caitlin’s outside-the-box recipes and serving ideas on cookingwithcaitlin.com. The new plan was to drive traffic to their website with the long-term goal of generating income from advertising. With this in mind, Kelly and Caitlin began professionally producing a library of short cooking videos, as well as creating a casual and often irreverent blog on their entertaining experiences.
Before long, CWC was gaining attention throughout Cincinnati, and, Caitlin in particular was earning the reputation for being not only knowledgeable, but also uncommonly accessible as a chef. All of a sudden the CWC crew was being offered opportunities the two women had never even imagined. They were invited to participate in a small market in Downtown Cincinnati which turned into a television show filmed live in the middle of the city with local celebrity guests. In Spring 2009, What’s HOT took the radio airwaves. Months later, CWC partnered with Cincinnati.com, an affiliate of Gannett, to take their blog to a larger audience. At the end of the same year, together with the CWC team, Kelly and Caitlin decided to forge a movement within the social media monster Twitter. They began Foodies’ Night In (#FNIchat on Twitter), the Monday-afternoon food-focused party that subsequently has broadened to a national (sometimes international) audience, and even into a real-life event. 2010 started, quite literally on January 1st, with a CWC inclusion in Food Network Magazine. In the article “Young and Hungry,” Caitlin was named one of the top ten “up-and-coming food stars, all under 30, living their culinary dreams.” She was honored and overwhelmed to read, “Caitlin may not be a household name just yet, but at 22, neither was Julia Child.”
With their expansion into so many forms of media, not only has Caitlin become even more accessible, Kelly has become familiar to the CWC audience as well. Their broad and growing audience comes for new ideas on food, but also the chemistry between the characters and the personality upon which CWC is built. By many organizations, in fact, Kelly and Caitlin have been invited to tell their story, share their experiences, and rally the spirits of professionals in all industries. Cincinnati – and beyond – has been seduced by the honest genuineness and good news that is Cooking with Caitlin.