Bootstrapping In America is tastytrade's spotlight on the best and brightest of the entrepreneurial community in Chicago and beyond. This Series follows companies that have appeared on Bootstrapping in America, tracking their progress, achievements, accomplishments and more since they appeared on Bootstrapping in America!
This week: What’s shaking with Schmacon?
Schmacon first made an appearance on tastytrade in May of 2014, bringing their unique, healthier un-bacon alternative to our bacon-loving hosts, Tom and Tony, and meat experts Mike Hart aka 'Beef' (fitting name, we know) and TP.
Schmacon was overwhelmingly one of the tastiest bootstrappers on the show in 2014 so we wanted to check back in and let you know what they are up to these days.
For those of you who missed out on Schmacon the first time around, Schmacon is an all natural, nitrate-free alternative to pork bacon. It is made from beef, (which is actually healthier - lower in sodium, calories, and fat) but still crisps/curls like bacon, not to mention tastes amazing!
Here is the original episode:
We had a chance to catch up with the Schmacon guys recently to see what’s been going on since they were on the show:
What’s new in the world of Schmacon?
Over the last 10 months, we have been perfecting the recipe and manufacturing process. Schmacon is made differently than pork bacon, so we've had to test different manufacturers, slicing methods and equipment. The big thing is that our recipe is now all-natural and nitrite/nitrate free. It really makes us stand out in the market. Oh, and we also just kicked off a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter!
How on earth do you crowdfund bacon?
Our Kickstarter campaign kicked off March 9th - this is our big jump into the consumer retail market - 12oz packages that people can buy at a grocery and take home and cook themselves.
In exchange for Schmacon and Schmacon swag, backers give us the funds to get Schmacon into grocery stores faster. Our plan is to hire a dedicated sales force, and, yes, before you ask, there are bacon and beef brokers!
Where can tastynation get their hands on some Schmacon today?
Right now, the only place is our Kickstarter campaign. If someone really wants a 10lb box of Schmacon, they can still buy it at Schmacon.com or on Amazon.
No grocery chains or large restaurant chains are carrying it yet. We’ve met with a few “big names” in the fast food and quick-service industries, but no one has made the leap.
We also have had a few major orders from Chicago restaurants and beef associations around the country. And we have foodservice distribution in Florida and the Midwest.
Very cool. By the way, did TP ever order a pallet of Schmacon to his ranch in Texas?
TP never ordered a pallet, but he did get a 10lb package sent to his ranch. We did have one woman, a farm veterinarian, order over 200 lbs to send to her clients for Christmas!