Let’s talk about the process for making vegan meats. Tell us a little about what goes into each of your products.
Kale: It’s very much like making dough. A very muscular dough is often how I like to describe it. So we use a vital wheat gluten which is a high-protein wheat flour and from there it’s using different blends of juices, beans, and different flours. We just combine dry and wet ingredients until we get this mass that we can shape into a bunch of different shapes. Sausages, steaks, chops, fish... well, I haven’t figured out fish yet, but I’m working on it. It’s a lot of fun, and different seasonings can make tons of flavors, and different amounts make different textures.
Being a vegan, how do you go about trying to match flavors and textures? It’s not like you can eat the real-meat equivalents. Do you have taste-testers?
Kale: I went vegan five years ago, but it feels like it could’ve been yesterday so I still remember a lot of the textures. I mean, when I went vegan, I needed everything to be spot on. For other things, our dad tries it out for us.
Aubry: Yeah, if he doesn’t take a second bite, we know it’s no good.
Kale: We’ve got other people too. A lot of our customers our omnivores and they let us know if something isn’t quite up to par. What was the last thing that didn’t really work out?
Aubry: The salami.
Kale: Oh yeah, the salami. They told us that it just wasn’t quite there. The shape was wrong, the color was off, and the flavor just wasn’t right and I took it to heart and I’ve been trying to work on it ever since.
Aubry: That’s something that’s really awesome about our customers. They tell us exactly what they think and they know that we’re going to try to go back and fix it. It’s just a really cool relationship that we have.
Kale: They’re really a part of the mission. They feel like they’re a part of this movement instead of just supporting a local business and they’re actually doing both. It’s really why we started and it’s more of a mission then anything. You know, we have to keep our doors open and our people fed, but beyond that, it’s what we want to do.