I was recently contacted by a fellow named Justin Herd. He is the creator of a product called the OneBowl – a special bowl that will cook instant as well as other noodles in the microwave. What’s more, it will drain them. He can do the most justice to explaining the product and it’s features of course, so I recently conducted this interview with him.
THE RAMEN RATER> Tell us a little about yourself – what’s your background?
JUSTIN HERD> My name is Justin Herd, I am 23 years old, and I am the inventor of the OneBowl. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the USA and just graduated from Grand Valley State University in April of 2014 with my Bachelors in Marketing. I love Ramen Noodles, hiking, viral videos, and inventing.
TRR> Have you always been interested in invention or invented other things in the past?
JH> I love inventing. It’s all about creating things to make my life easier. Whenever I feel like something I do every day could be easier, faster, and/or more enjoyable, that is when I get my best ideas for an invention. Normally, my inventions look like Frankenstein gadgets held together by duct tape. The OneBowl is my first invention that I believe can be enjoyed by people around the world.
TRR> How did the OneBowl project begin?
JH> The OneBowl project began 8 months ago while I was making myself some Maruchan Chicken Flavor Ramen Noodles. As a college student, I made myself some delicious Ramen Noodles just about every day (as many college students do). After enjoying my noodles, I looked at my sink to see a pot, a strainer, and a bowl that I now had to wash. I thought to myself, “I wish I could just make noodles in one bowl.” And so began the OneBowl.
TRR> Can you tell us about the testing phase – how many different kinds of noodles did you test in it?
JH> It took 4 tries to get the prototype just right. Once I had a working prototype, I tested it out with several different kinds of noodles. I tested 1 brick of Maruchan Ramen Noodles, 2 bricks of Maruchan Ramen Noodles, Kraft Mac and Cheese, and good old spaghetti. I found that the OneBowl was the perfect size to accommodate all kinds of noodles.
TRR> How is the OneBowl different from, well, a bowl?
JH> The OneBowl is a microwave-safe bowl with a built-in strainer and a snap-on lid. It’s the only bowl out there than you can use to cook, strain, eat, and store your noodles in. The bowl converts easily from a water tight bowl to a strainer by rotating the handle an eighth of a turn. Once strained, rotate the handle back to eat. This will allow you to customize how much broth you want. The bowl also comes apart easily for cleaning, it’s dishwasher-safe, and BPA free.
TRR> What is the OneBowl made of?
JH> The bowl itself is made from a poly carbonate blend of BPA free plastic. The lid and seal are made from silicone. This means the OneBowl can withstand a temperature range of -58 F to 266 F (-50 to 130 C) and will not leak any toxins when heated up.
TRR> Where will it be made?
JH> The OneBowl will be made right in the city where I live: Grand Rapids, Michigan in the United States.
TRR> You’re opting to go the Kickstarter route to bring your product to market – how did you arrive at the decision to crowdsource?
JH> I need to raise the money for plastic injection molding so that I can share the OneBowl with the world. I chose to go with Kickstarter to raise the money because I love their platform. It is really user friendly and it makes it easy to get involved with cool new products at their earliest stages. Kickstarter has developed an awesome culture around helping others bring their dreams to life and it’s the best platform out there in my opinion.
TRR> If people donate, what do they get and when?
JH> I have several different levels of rewards for pledging to my Kickstarter project. For $20, you get a OneBowl! ($30 outside the US due to extra shipping costs). I also have rewards for 2 packs and 4 packs. There are some rewards that include a custom OneBowl cook book full of recipes I made using the OneBowl. I expect to deliver OneBowls to all who pledge on Kickstarter in October of this year.
TRR> What is your favorite thing to make in the OneBowl?
JH> 2 bricks of Chicken Flavored Maruchan Ramen Noodles. I am a man of simple taste. However, I am taking on the challenge of catching up with Hans and trying out his favorite Ramen styles and flavors.