I’ve been an entrepreneurial craftsman and artist for most of my life. I’ve tried my hand at such varied pursuits as furniture building in California, clothing manufacturing in the Guatemala and being a chef at an ashram retreat in upstate New York. Along the way I was introduced to the art of tempeh making by a friend and I decided I needed to learn everything I could about making and experimenting with tempeh. Based on its many benefits, I felt sure there was a future in it.
I’m an ex-marketing guy and part-time artist. I was introduced to my future partner, Barry, and his tempeh in 2010 with the objective of helping him bring his little known super-food to the people of New York. My marketing and business experience told me Barry’s tempeh was the right food, in the right place, at the right time. And so Barry’s Tempeh and the partnership was formed.
Our business, Grown In Brooklyn, LLC, has seen steady growth for the past five years as we’ve introduced a sustainable, meat-alternative to open-minded consumers, caterers and chefs in New York and New Jersey. All our ingredients are organic and we try to use local beans whenever possible. 3 of our 5 tempeh varieties are gluten and soy-free. Our big difference though is we’re not pasteurized so you get more probiotics and better taste.
Our growth has also given us the ability to hire many young, like-minded people who see Barry’s Tempeh as a way to bring positive change to the food industry.
Barry’s macro view involves taking his tempeh making knowledge to people around the world who are desperate for more protein. Setting up micro tempeh businesses all over would be a win win situation. But that’s way in the future.
To introduce the benefits of Barry’s Tempeh to a wider range of local customers we developed a new line of convenient, heat & serve tempeh products (soy and gluten-free). It’s taken 3 years of experimentation and investment to develop these new products. But there’s still a ton of work left to do. Shelf-life testing, nutrition analysis, packaging, marketing, in-store demos, free-sampling, manufacturing equipment. All of it takes lots of money, way more money than we’ve got.
And so we’ve turned to the community of Kiva Zip. With your help we can introduce a delicious new way to do some good. Thanks for taking the time to check out Grown In Brooklyn.
Our 3 new heat & serve products will introduce the benefits of Barry’s Tempeh to a wider range of local customers. We expect these new products to double our business in the next 2 years.
Here’s an itemized list of costs for the development & production of these three new products:
Nutrition, shelf life, and bacterial count analysis: $850.00
Packaging materials & label design: $5850.00
Used manufacturing equipment (electric tempeh slicer and 1000 burger forms): $2000.00
Additional insurance needed to sell in the FAIRWAY chain of stores in NYC: $1300.00