How It All Began

How It All Began
The perfect lunchbox should:
  • Be very, very easy to clean completely, leaving no "sour milk" smell
  • Be easy to pack with just enough food for the intended diner
  • Have containers that any kid can open without spilling, and close reliably
  • Be designed so it all fits together - the containers holding the food should all be able to fit in the box that carries the containers
  • Be cool enough for any kid not to want to "lose" that lunchbox on the way to school
It began with a phone call from dear friend Lisa, on October 6, 2006 (23 days into the school year). I paraphrase her opening line:

Lisa: Ican'ttakeitanymoreIcannotpackanother schoollunchforaslongasIlive.

She has four and I have three children; the oldest two of these 7 kids have barely reached double digits.  I knew how she felt, but I also thought it a little premature to be checking out of lunch prep.  Here is what she had concluded in those preceding 22 days: 
  • She'd didn't want to use disposable containers and baggies, but she couldn't find suitably sized containers, as most were too large or the wrong shape.
  • If she used leftover yogurt containers, margarine tubs, or whatnot, she struggled daily to find the lids to match.
  • If she DID find the lids, and the food fit the containers, they wouldn't fit in the lunch bag.
  • If the containers and lids were together, and the food fit, and the containers fit in lunch bag, the lids were either too easy to put on and off (so they fell off inside the lunchbox) or too hard so the kid would spill everything in their efforts to open them, THEN not re-close them correctly and STILL have the lid come off in the lunchbox.
  • The food looked unappetizing after bouncing around sideways and upside-down in the containers and the lunch bags.
  • The lunch bags were vinyl-lined which, when brand-new, smelled like vinyl (yuk); and when used, with all that food falling out of containers they smelled like...well, it made the vinyl smell great in comparison. And the bags just disintegrated if she tried washing them in the washing machine
Thus began our quest for "The Perfect Lunchbox," but several weeks of research generated only a list of qualifications (see them in the green box, above) and not one single candidate for the title.

Since we couldn't find it, we began to invent it

Since we couldn't find it, we began to invent it
Lisa found Lock&Lock containers and we both believe them to be an excellent container for our lunchbox. Lock&Lock seals completely, opens easily, closes reliably, moves easily from freezer to fridge to microwave (popped open for steam release, of course) to dishwasher, is sturdy enough to take a few rounds with schoolkids, and comes with a manufacturer's lifetime warranty in the off chance a piece breaks. Better still, Lock&Lock containers are available in just the right volume for any size appetite.

This left us with great containers but no box to carry them, and from that need Lunchsense was born.

I've been asked many times how did you come up with that amazing design? and I have yet to come up with an adequate answer. When I look at the Lunchsense lunchbox I can see (besides a longstanding personal interest in origami) the inputs and efforts of 3 amazing people: Lisa, who started this whole undertaking; her husband Peter, who is an architect; and my husband Michael, who was an engineer and is now a schoolteacher.
Oh, and I had a sewing machine.


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