Kitchen Aid

A new Minnesota company helps new grads and newlyweds equip their first kitchens.

You’re a newlywed, or a student, or a new grad living in your first apartment. You’ve never had a kitchen or cooked more than toast. Make a chicken dinner? Mystifying, and intimidating enough to turn you paler than a raw four-pound broiler.

But if you’re Allison Rufsvold, and you’ve got your aunt Alta Engstrom—for nearly 30 years the director of nutrition at General Mills—to coach you, the mysteries of the kitchen are solved and you start a business in the process.

Rufsvold is a recent marketing and journalism grad from the University of St. Thomas. Her roommate, Mollie Shields, just got a degree in nutrition from the College of St. Catherine. With Engstrom, they formed A Three, Inc., this year and produced First Kitchen, a newly released DVD on equipping a kitchen, buying groceries, nutrition and health, and how to prepare fun but easy meals. (See excerpts and order the $16 DVD at www.firstkitchencooks.com.) Engstrom says more titles and other beginner-cook products are in the works, with marketing targeted to 20-somethings and their parents.