The world is changing rapidly since Covid19 is spreading around the globe. Our Food industry has been hit really hard.
Not just the restaurants that are on the forefront but also the farmers, wineries, food artisans, and so many more. We are all in this together and I want to do my part with this website and live cooking classes where I will promote them.
My name is Jan Van Haute, I am a chef in Virginia and you can follow me this website and my Instagram account (@chefjanvh). Haute Season is obviously linked to my name, but it’s also referring to the fact that I love to work with seasonal produce.
I will be posting tons of stories of different Artisans throughout the weeks. My first guest is Joshua Plante, he (and his two kids) is the founder of The Fermented Pig. I met him about one year ago in Goodstone when I was looking for a good Charcutier.
So, Joshua, let’s tell your story, who are you and how did you started your business?
“We are The Fermented Pig. A few years ago I was a chef as well but then I took a distance from it. At some point my two kids wanted to go into the farmers markets and I wanted them to learn how to be business people. So we took some recipes that we worked on for 20 years and translated them into local products. The idea was birth from my children’s desire to start a business.
Within a couple of weeks we realized that we had something special to offer. Within 6 months we were in 12 farmers markets and within a year we were supplying beautiful places and chefs.
Using local products is crucial to our success and who we want to be. We work with a lot of farms in the Loudoun County. They all grow a unique product. We use a different farm for our different products. Each one of them offers us their product that we then transform into charcuterie.
How did your day looked like before Covid19 and what changed?
That’s a good question! We have been fortunate to always be busy, since we started.
On a typical day before Covid19, I would head to the kitchen and meet my kitchen manager. We would map out the day and it would not be terrible demanding. My charcuterie is a slow product, you don’t throw it in a pan and whip it up, it all takes time. Some things even take 6 months to a year. We spent a lot of time focusing on the quality, ingredients, doing farm visits, working on recipes and of course getting to markets. So it wasn’t quit as intense.
Now as we all go through this crisis (Covid19) together, our whole structure has changed dramatically. The first thing I am doing early in the morning is checking my emails from our website. Since everybody is social distancing, our website became very busy. So I am answering a lot of emails and taking orders online now.
So the day is much longer now and it’s 7 days a week but we are feeding a lot of families.
Twice a week, every week, we deliver barbecue kits to 30 to 40 families. It’s not really what we set out to do, but we have these beautiful Rolls Royce of smokers and in adversity lies opportunity so we decided to seize upon that. The great thing about this is that people are also ordering our charcuterie, our bacons, sausages and salamis, at the same time. So we are building our brand and people are getting to eat this remarkable food.
How do you think we will end up after this crisis?
I think we are going through a shift in the market. As the world is evolving and eating less protein, we can do well if we are curating and choosing the best products. This region has remarkable products and farms with unbelievable quality of meat.
Also, this delivery model is going to be around for a long time, I think, and we need to take advantage of that.
I totally agree with you, my last question, where can people find you?
We have our website (www.thefermentedpig.com) with all of our information and products. They can order online. We rotate products every now and then. We are also present at 5 farmers markets in the upcoming time.
Joshua and I plan to create a kit with all the essentials and good local products, so more info on that is coming soon. We will create the boxes; help people to stay safe but also help them to eat really good food. For us the quantity is not as important as the product. It has to be exquisite.
Thank you Joshua for your story!
THE FERMENTED PIG 571-283-1202 email@example.com www.thefermentedpig.com