Paleoista Broths <> Erewhon !!
Growing up in the late 70s / early 80s in a suburb of NYC with a hippie mom meant lots of ‘interesting’ food.
She was wise beyond her years in teaching me some fundamental principles of what it really means to eat food that is truly healthy.
No sugar. Zero. It wasn’t until I was about five years old at a friend’s house and chose to take a bite of her Bonne Bell Lip Smacker chapstick (yes, I actually ate it) that I’d ever even experienced the taste of something so sweet.
No preservatives. Everything had to be fresh and the only things that were in packages were glass bottles of olive oil, apple cider from the local orchard… and brown rice.
I vividly remember trying to pronounce that word shortly after learning to read and struggling with it.
I seem to recall we also had soy sauce from the same manufacturer amongst a plethora of other ‘health food’ items from the local health food store, a small, mom and pop shop one town over called Amber Waves of Grain.
It had a very distinct smell and from there we would buy the things that were the closest I’d ever have the chance to some sort of treat – Tiger’s Milk Bars, as well as staples like raw cashews, various teas, spices and natural soaps.
Keep in mind that back then, these things, this whole vibe was not yet trending; in fact, it was so far from being cool that I’d feel mortified every time my mom would bake yet one more batch of carrot cake cupcakes made with whole wheat flour for my birthday celebration at school.
At the time, I wished, and begged for the things that the ‘normal’ kids had – like Hostess Cupcakes with that white swirly icing on top for birthdays, Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast and ice cream and cookies.
On the odd occasion, we’d go to the local ice cream shop but those occasions were few and far between, and as it turns out, the ice cream was probably not really ice cream anyway. That is, unless you consider MILKFAT AND NONFAT MILK, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, CELLULOSE GUM, GUAR GUM, POLYSORBATE 80, CARRAGEENAN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR to be real food ingredients.
Fortunately, apart from a very short lived rebellious phase around age 15 during which I opted to go with friends and eat at burger joints and pizza places, what my mom taught me was hard wired and I maintain the values she showed me. (Not just as they pertain to food… but that’s another blog post).
Which is why, coming full circle back to the concepts of eating real food, keeping it local and sustainable (and therefore, by default, far more tasty and good for you) becoming familiar again with Erewhon, only this time not only as a customer, but a vendor is in such perfect alignment.
I first set foot in the commercial kitchen with 6 pots, 60 pounds of bones (grass fed + finished beef and pasture raised pork), 12 chickens, and some aromatics.
My goal was to prepare my first round of professional broths for the following weekend’s debut at the Calabasas Farmer’s Market.
I knew I’d have a learning curve ahead and felt excited to share my recipes, the same ones I’d been making for years for my friends and family.
Truth be told: I felt like a deer in headlights. I came home that first day and felt I’d failed because I’d made far less product than anticipated; I hadn’t yet mastered how to hot fill into our glass bottles and the time in the kitchen had flown by way too fast. But something told me to keep going.
That first day at market, it took far too long to set up, I sold $40 worth of broth and came home completely exhausted. But again, something told me to keep on. The more I stuck with it, the more efficient and streamlined I became and I grew to enjoy the challenge of it all.
The blessing of becoming pregnant with our son just five months later added another level to the path, one which I fully embraced.
And while our of my goals from day one was to do literal market research at the farmer’s market and earn a place on the shelves of highly respected grocery stores, falling in love with the steps of the process along the way is something upon which a value can not be placed.
So now, as we prepare for our launch at the very store I’d always envisioned my product being sold, Erewhon, I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come!
Yves & I will continue to sell our broths every weekend, rain or shine at our best market as being part of this community is something incredibly meaningful to our family as a whole. )
And we are just thrilled to now be a part of the Erewhon family, too!