Joy

Kitchen United Appoints Michael Montagano Chief Executive Officer, Promotes Joy Lai to Chief Operating Officer

Kitchen United a ghost kitchen industry leader, announced today the appointment of Michael Montagano as Chief Executive Officer and newest member of the Company’s Board of Directors following two years serving as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Additionally, Joy Lai has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer from her previous position as Chief Marketing Officer.

“Over the past three years, we have built a solid foundation on which to grow. I am proud of what we accomplished in my years at Kitchen United, and can say without a doubt the Kitchen United team is the best that I’ve had the privilege to serve alongside. I know they will continue to achieve great success in the years ahead,” said former CEO Jim Collins who departed the company to focus on personal endeavors.

“Michael is well positioned to continue to build upon Kitchen United’s industry leadership and help restaurant partners achieve optimal success,” said David Krane, CEO and Managing Partner at GV. “He has been instrumental in growing the business and charting the course for the future, making him the ideal leader to advance the company into its next chapter of growth. Together with Joy, who has a deep understanding of consumer adoption and scaling businesses, we are confident the Kitchen United leadership team will achieve long-term success.”

Mr. Montagano joined Kitchen United as CFO in 2018, as an experienced executive with a proven track record of building and scaling venture-backed companies. He led capital formation initiatives for the company securing institutional financing partners including GV, Fidelity Investments, and G Squared, as well as strategic partners, RXR Realty, DivcoWest and Rich’s Food Products. Prior to Kitchen United, Mr. Montagano helped shepherd PowerFlex Systems from seed-stage to acquisition by a Fortune Global 100, Electricite de France (ENXTPA:EDF). He currently sits on the Board

Finding Joy And Peace In The Kitchen With Emily Hutchinson

“Cookies are my life.”

That quote could be attributed to any one of us, but this week, those words were uttered by none other than the cookie queen herself, Emily Hutchinson. 

On today’s episode of the L.A. Weekly Podcast, host and Publisher Brian Calle, along with Food Editor Michele Steuven, chats with Emily about all things baking. 

Emily has built a brand around her expertise in creating and decorating cookies, as both a bestselling author of Creative Cookie Decorating and a regular on Hallmark’s Home and Family, including a seat as a judge on Hallmark Drama’s Christmas Cookie Matchup. Her YouTube channel has over 3 million views, and her Instagram – cleverly titled “@the_hutch_oven” – has a loyal following of 113K. 

Most of us, even cake-hating Brian, like cookies. But how does someone turn a beloved dessert into a career?

“It started when I was little – way back when I was five – my grandma taught me how to bake in the kitchen,” reminisces Emily. “It was just so special and so fun and I caught on so fast. Being in the kitchen was like my place, we baked for everything – all sorts of desserts, breads, pies, she was the most incredible baker ever. She actually passed away when I was about 12 and so baking was really hard for me after she passed away and I put it on the back burner.”

Emily grew into adulthood, fell in love, and married her husband Mike. Soon after they welcome their daughter Reese and son Nick, who were elated to become big siblings to little Jennifer Louise, lovingly nicknamed Jenny Lou. Tragically, Jenny Lou passed away from SIDS before three months of age.

“It was beyond imaginable,” shares Emily, in a heartfelt interview with our hosts. “Every