From Outer Space To The Food Space: A NASA Engineer Launches A Food Company

Union Kitchen Accelerator Memeber Terracosta, founded by a duo from Spain, Iban Ibáñez Domenech, a NASA engineer, and Natalia De Iscar, an immigration lawyer from Spain, is bringing the flavors of the Mediterranean to the American food space. With their unique vision of infusing Mediterranean ingredients into beloved American foods, Terracosta has successfully introduced Tiger Nut Granolas and Marcona Almond Butter to the market. 

Their shared love of food inspired them to create Terracosta. The name itself represents the harmony of their roots – "Terra" signifying the fertile soil of Natalia's homeland and "Costa" embodying the coastal essence of Iban's origins. When discussing their brand Iban state, “We are trying to twist and shape American snacks that are pretty common and consumed here in America, but with these ingredients from the Mediterranean because we know they are nutritious and health-conscious people here will like them."

Through their hard work with the Union Kitchen Accelerator, Natalia and Iban have taken their conceptual ideas and passion for Terracosta and created a market-ready product. This delectable snack is now available to consumers, who can savor the rich, sun-soaked flavors that make Terracosta an unforgettable culinary journey. Terracosta is in good company with other Union Kitchen Accelerator members like Maspandas, Snacklins, and Compass Coffee, all of whom have achieved impressive valuations exceeding $15 million as DC-based food manufacturing companies.

As a NASA engineer Iban primarily spends his days working on space instruments, specifically in remote-sensing technologies for mapping. While he is new to the food space, Iban is no stranger to the world of entrepreneurship. A article titled "Space to Snacks: A NASA Engineer Just Launched A Health Food Company" highlights how Iban's first taste for entrepreneurship came during his time at university, when he developed an Android app with friends for a social media app competition. That was the first time he spent a large portion of his time outside his day-to-day work that could eventually turn into a full-time job. 

Iban says “If you work in tech or in engineering, in general, you have a lot of problem-solving capabilities. That’s what I think I have and I would suggest applying this kind of mentality that an engineer or a tech person has to solve all the problems that are going to arise during founding.” He is now combining his skills and passions and building a food company by leveraging the Union Kitchen Ecosystem and making things people want! To read the full article, click here!