Far too often we keep doing the same thing, because, well, “that’s the way it’s always been done.” Good enough for generations past, good enough for us. Take forks, for instance, basically unchanged in 500 years we’ve been using them. They sure beat eating with our fingers. Why try to fix what isn’t broken? And along comes someone who doesn’t always accept the status quo, someone who first imagines a better “mousetrap” and then builds it.

Kyle Donovan is one of those people. From the time he was a kid growing up in a tough section of Brooklyn, New York, he looked for opportunities. He saw discarded bottles littering the urban landscape and made money taking them to the recycling center. When he was 19 years old working for a photo lab, he found he was making 25 cents less an hour than a co-worker doing the same job. Principle caused him to leave the job he enjoyed. Inventiveness caused him to open his own (successful) photo lab in his one-bedroom apartment. And then opportunity came in the guise of a little bird alighting on his table at an outdoor cafe. Charmed at first, Kyle soon realized the bird was there because the table was dirty—the table his eating utensils were resting on.

It isn’t only the germaphobes of the world who cringe at the sight of eating utensils on a naked table. The fork and spoon that are going into our mouths, the knife that is going to cut the food that is going into our mouths. Who knows how many people have sneezed or coughed onto the table spreading influenza or the common cold. Maybe e-coli or salmonella, food-borne bacteria, are waiting there. I’m allergic to peanuts. Something made with peanuts could have been on the table right before I arrived.

Kyle’s solution is so obvious, so commonsensical, that, once we know about the iFork line, we are incredulous it was not invented long before now. The prongs of the iFork, the bowl of the iSpoon and the blade of the iKnife never touch the table. The stainless steel line uses a small ball or a small post attached to the bottom that keeps those parts of the utensils above the table. The plastic line uses the small post. While the iFork line keeps your utensils clean, it also keeps your porcelain white kitchen counter or Irish linen tablecloth clean from the mess that used utensils leave behind.

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The stainless line is sleek and graceful and fits comfortably into any hand. It also provides elegant accents around the table regardless of your preferred style of tableware. The stainless flatware is available in individual place settings or as a gift set that includes six each of dinner forks, salad forks, table spoons, tea spoons and knives, priced so that you can treat yourself, a newlywed couple, or a college graduate with a new apartment (just because you are so vastly relieved that the empty nest will remain empty). The disposable plastic line is available in a combo box of 51 utensils.

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As we would expect from Kyle, his original idea grew into the iCup and iPlate, which along with the iFork line, results in an amazingly convenient interlocking system. Fork and knife snap onto the plate, and the cup locks into place under the plate. You can hold or carry everything you need with one hand. No more fumbling while you try to eat standing up or when you want to shake hands.

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Shark Tank Air Date: 1/7/18 – Season 9 – Episode 15

 

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