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Sally Sampson Is On A Mission To Get Kids In The Kitchen

Sally Sampson, founder of ChopChop Family

Sally Sampson, founder of ChopChop Family

My Name

Sally Sampson, founder of ChopChop Family

MY Home Base

Watertown, Massachusetts

MY biz

ChopChop Family is a 12-year-old nonprofit with the mission of teaching kids and families how to cook, eat, and learn about real, nourishing food. We focus on affordable home cooking using uncomplicated, inexpensive ingredients and teachable skills. 

Our James Beard Award-winning quarterly ChopChop: The Fun Cooking Magazine for Families is published in both English and Spanish and is at the heart of our work. It’s ad-free and filled with delicious recipes from everywhere, essential how-to’s, STEAM activities, fun food facts, interactive games, and gorgeous photographs of kids making and eating good food. We offer subscriptions, but the bulk of our business is working with Head Start, WIC, SNAP, Tribal Nations, departments of health and education, like-minded food brands and supermarkets, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Centers for Disease Control.

ChopChop: The Fun Cooking Magazine for Families

ChopChop: The Fun Cooking Magazine for Families

What’s the latest with ChopChop?

The newest member of our family is Eatable Alphabet, an independent flip-through activity deck for preschoolers. People need creative ways to keep their kids busy and learning, especially right now, so we designed the deck to promote early nutrition awareness, sensory experience, and literacy across a range of subjects including food, language, math, and numbers.

We also started publishing a free monthly newsletter at the start of the pandemic—one that’s filled with activities for kids, as well as recipes for caregivers looking to stretch their resources, take good care of their families, and turn ingredients into meals. Need help translating a box from your local food pantry into dinner for your family? We’ve got you.

Eatable Alphabet, an independent activity deck for preschoolers

Eatable Alphabet, an independent activity deck for preschoolers

How does your work impact others?

There are a lot of amazing organizations trying to improve eating behaviors in families and many that are teaching cooking. Our focus is on teaching kids to cook and cooking together as a family. We look at everything—really, everything—through the lens of cooking. We also provide tools for essential life skills like relationship-building, nutrition awareness, and school readiness skills including literacy, science, math, and geography, among others.

How Are you Doing?

COVID has not been kind to us. Most of our magazines are distributed in places that have been shut down, or are simply not handing out anything on paper. We are still standing, but I’m almost surprised. But when things seem dire, something good tends to happen.

How the Bombesquad can help

Get the word out to all the families you know and to organizations that could benefit from using our tools. Introduce us to philanthropists who care about teaching kids and families to cook.

MY Motto

Let’s making cooking cool!

essential kitchen tool

I really don’t think I could live without my Lodge Cast Iron Skillets. I have tons of skillets, far fancier, but these are the ones I keep going back to.

Sally’s go-to Lodge skillet

Favorite pantry item

I am obsessed with Soom Tahini. I was never a fan of tahini, and in fact, when a recipe called for tahini, I generally left it out or sometimes used almond butter (I don’t like peanut butter). When I was introduced to Soom by my friend, Chef Ana Sortun, I was transformed. I buy six jars at a time, give them away to anyone who will listen, and drizzle it on most everything!

Soom Tahini

Soom Tahini

Who’s your business role model?

My 27-year-old son Ben. Whenever I have a problem and either need advice or just someone to talk through an issue, I go to Ben. He NEVER disappoints.

Squad Shoutout

I recently met Leanne Brown, author of Good and Cheap and we are so on the same team. Plus she’s inspiring and smart!