Natasha's Kitchen

Natasha Kravchuk, Founder

Boise, ID
Natasha holding up a pan. Natasha making lasagne.
Searching for a taste of home

When Natasha Kravchuk was just four, she and her family came from Ukraine to the United States as refugees. As they tried to make it in a new country, Natasha’s family hung onto their culture by cooking all sorts of delicious family recipes.

“My favorite dish had to be my mother’s pierogies,” says Natasha. “She learned to cook from my grandmother, who loved to spoil her children by cooking their favorite recipes.”

As she was starting her career as a nurse, Natasha felt herself being drawn back to cooking. “After I got married, my husband and I felt an urge to dive back into the recipes that we grew up with,” says Natasha. But when they searched for Ukrainian recipes, they had little luck.

“Lots of the recipes were in old books, which featured outdated instructions and tools,” says Natasha. “So that’s when it dawned on us that we should start the blog and document our old family recipes online.”

So in 2009, Natasha and her husband, Vadim, launched Natasha’s Kitchen ‒ and they soon realized they weren’t the only ones with a hunger for traditional Ukrainian recipes.

A labor of love

The early days of Natasha’s Kitchen were simple and improvisational. Natasha would cook the recipes while her husband handled the photography. “For the first two years, we were just posting as a hobby,” says Natasha. “But slowly over time we started to reach more and more people with similar tastes to us.”

Everything changed when Natasha decided to put up her first ad with Google AdSense. Getting those first few dollars felt special ‒ and soon enough the blog was big enough to qualify for Raptive, a Google Certified Publishing Partner.

“Working with Raptive has been amazing,” says Natasha. “They’re so professional and actually look out for the publishers. Being in an ad network is a holistic experience that helps me stay focused on my content while helping me monetize in a way I couldn’t on my own.”

While Natasha started the blog as a nursing student, the monetization from Google ads allowed her to scale back her hours and eventually switch to blogging full time in 2014. “Embracing Ads helped us turn this from a part-time passion project into something we could devote ourselves to fully, all while working from home and spending more time with family.”

“Embracing ads helped us turn this from a part-time passion project into something we could devote ourselves to fully, all while working from home and spending more time with family.”
Building a global brand

Incorporating ads onto Natasha’s Kitchen enabled Natasha and her husband to monetize their site. “Being ad-supported allows us to share our recipes for free and maintain an enjoyable user experience,” she says. But it also allowed her to fulfill another longtime dream of hers: job creation.

“We have eight people on our team right now,” says Natasha. “It's not just a blog where we're sharing recipes ‒ we’ve also created meaningful careers for people, which is really one of the most satisfying things that we've done.”

On a personal level, Natasha and her husband have turned their passion into a career ‒ all while enjoying the rewards of a profitable online business. “We’ve been able to take our kids to Disneyland and travel more and give more - it’s just given us these opportunities that we've never dreamed or imagined we could have,” says Natasha.

But what really keeps Natasha going is the far-reaching community around her blog, which sees 10 million visitors per month. “It moves us to know we’re connecting with people and helping people feel heard and loved.”

“To grow our community even more, Natasha’s Kitchen has expanded beyond just Ukrainian recipes and embraced more global flavors,” she says. “The United States is such a melting pot, so we wanted to add a diverse range of recipes beyond just the special dishes we grew up with. Now we hear from readers in China, India, all over. It’s been phenomenal.”

When war broke out in Ukraine, Natasha had another opportunity to use her platform to reach people. “We have a lot of family still in Ukraine, so we wanted to do anything we could to help,” says Natasha. “We’ve been working with different humanitarian efforts here and in Ukraine and have sponsored a mobile kitchen in Ukraine that helps elderly people who can’t get out of the dangerous areas.”

Natasha's new cookbook.
In kitchens everywhere

With such a global reach, Natasha and her team were able to realize another lifelong dream: the publication of a cookbook, which hits stores in October. “It's been a dream of mine to have something from Natasha's kitchen in somebody's home ‒ not just on their screen but as a real part of their family and their home cooking.”

And in a true full circle moment, Natasha’s cookbook features one of the recipes that sparked her love of cooking in the first place. “I was able to get my mom’s pierogi recipe in the cookbook,” she says with a smile. “So now other families can start passing down her recipe.”

About the Publisher

In 1989, four-year-old Natasha Kravchuk and her family entered the United States as refugees from Ukraine. Her mother was an amazing cook and spoiled her family with delicious meals. After getting married, Natasha and her husband wanted to recreate their favorite childhood recipes to nourish their own family. In 2009, she began blogging at about the joy she discovered in creating and sharing recipes. Her audience and community exploded, connecting with her warmth and willingness to share both her triumphs and failures in the kitchen.
Natasha's kitchen logo.