How did you start your sausage company, Seemore Meats & Veggies?
I grew up in the meat industry, the men in my family were butchers going back 4 generations, and I found my way back to it after years of cooking professionally in New York. I started working as a whole animal butcher about 13 years ago at a shop in Brooklyn and pretty quickly grew frustrated that the "good" meat movement was only accessible to people who could afford to care about where their food came from. I started experimenting with ways to stretch the beautiful whole animals we were getting further in order to get them to more people at a lower price point.
Sausages are sort of the original sustainability-minded food, so I chose them as my medium and started pushing the boundaries of how I could make them even more sustainable. I started adding fresh vegetables into the sausages I was making, using the veggies to mimic familiar, comforting flavors--chicken soup, chicken parm, loaded baked potatoes. The veggies made the meat stretch further and kept the price point fair, and best of all they made the sausages taste really good. Seemore (named after my grandpa, Seymour) is the scale-up of that original idea. We launched in February of 2020 and we're now in stores across the country, including Whole Foods, Sprouts and Target, and online at retailers like Fresh Direct, Imperfect Foods and Thrive Market.
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
New Yorkers are constantly being inundated by the truly bizarre and chaotic all day every day and I think this leads naturally to more creative experimentation. I also think that, probably because of all the chaos around them, New Yorker's sense of humor is unmatched, which in my opinion experience is key in the creative process. There are a lot of times where we'll be coming up with brand campaign ideas at Seemore and when we zoom out we realize that no one outside of New York would get the reference. That to me is a really interesting thing, for everyone living in this one small place to have so many cultural references and touchpoints, in-jokes with each other that are wildly specific and weird.
What's inspiring you right now?
It's a little bit hard to feel inspired right now because everything feels (and is) sort of terrible, but watching my friends who are makers and chefs and business owners use their talents to raise money for causes like reproductive healthcare has been a real bright spot.