Kate Banks & Charlie Hammond
In 2013, Kate Banks' mother gave her a big bunch of vanilla beans as a gift. Even an excellent baker like her couldn't figure out how to use that many, so she and her neighbor—and fellow chef—Charlie Hammond decided to experiment with making extracts. Traditionally, vanilla extract is made with vodka, because of its neutral flavor. They figured they'd try everything else. They shared the results with friends and family, and when people tasted how delicious certain combos were, Kate and Charlie decided to invest in equipment and supplies to make them on a larger scale. They hope customers will use them as flavors—in coffee, ice cream, even hot breakfast cereal—and of course, to transform their favorite baked specialties.