Spread the news — Baconnaise is delicious
October 15, 2008
By David Hayes
Makers of BaconSalt invent new product
Dave Lefkow and his business partner Justin Esch are sitting upon a proverbial goldmine.
They know what they’ve already extracted could keep them financially secure for years to come. But the duo isn’t ready to sit back on their laurels without first seeing just how deep this untapped mine goes.
Lefkow, of Issaquah, and Esch, of Seattle, hit upon the universal truth last year that everything tastes better with bacon. Since the launch of their product, J&D’s BaconSalt, the four flavors of their condiment have gone global and started a cultural phenomenon.
Now, the pair is ready to launch phase two. Come Oct. 30, they evolve from sprinkle to spread — introducing Baconnaise.
“We get a lot of customer e-mails with a lot of crazy suggestions for new ways to come up with bacon flavors, like lip balm,” Lefkow said. “Spreadable bacon was one such suggestion.”
So, the two talked to friends in the food industry to determine the feasibility of a bacon-flavored mayonnaise.
“It had to be true-bacon flavored,” Lefkow said. “I didn’t want ‘mayocan.’”
So, the product went to research and development. And Lefkow said he figures he had nothing but bacon and mayonnaise for breakfast for the next six months.
“I’d literally, every day, have a bite of real bacon, then a taste of the Baconnaise to see if they’d gotten it just right yet,” Lefkow said. “My cholesterol must have gone through the roof and I must have gained 10 pounds.”
He was willing to make the sacrifice, knowing they were upon the precipice of “the next big thing.” Finally, last month, perfection was achieved. They made a regular and light Baconnaise.
To give it a test run, Lefkow called his friend, the owner of City Fish Co. at the Pike’s Place Market in Seattle, figuring since he buys about $1,000 of fish there a year, he owes Lefkow a favor or two.
“I asked him if he wants to try selling a new product,” Lefkow said. “He said sure without even asking what it was first.”
Lefkow figures the public’s response to the test run was so positive, the market moved 120 jars a week at its peak. In addition to Baconnaise, J&D’s is debuting five new flavors of their traditional bacon-flavored sprinkles — cheddar, maple, apple wood, mesquite and jalapeño. And lest one think the other suggestion was unattainable, J&D’s succeeded in developing a bacon-flavored lip balm.
“It’s the weirdest thing, actually,” Lefkow admitted. “It smells like bacon. Kinda feels weird going on, then the taste kicks in and you can’t believe how good it is and feels.”
To help roll out the new line of production in a handy gift pack, J&D’s is planning a party for the Oct. 30 debut involving the Seattle Semi Pro Wrestling League at Heaven’s Night Club in Seattle. The feature of the night will be a death match between a 200-gallon jug of mayonnaise and a 6-foot-tall slab of bacon. And on the undercard will be J&D’s intern, Bacon Boy, versus three members of a local women’s rugby team. Proceeds from the evening will go toward the family of a production supervisor for J&D’s in Federal Way who was murdered earlier this year.
Assured they have another winning combination of bacon flavors ready to debut, Lefkow said they’ll ratchet back on developing any further ideas, for now.
“In our marketing experience, we know it’s too easy to get overextended,” Lefkow said. “Right now, we’re happy with our ‘magic toddler dust.’ My wife’s friends call it that because if there’s a vegetable any of their kids don’t like, they sprinkle a little BaconSalt on top and they’ll eat it all up.”