Success tastes a lot like bacon — A national craze to make everything better with bacon originates in a Klahanie kitchen

April 17, 2015

A long time ago (actually 2007) in a galaxy far, far away, (well, a kitchen in Klahanie), two rebels, Dave Lefkow and Justin Esch, struck a victorious blow for pork against the evil empire of beef — they invented J&D’s Bacon Salt.

Contributed Friends Justin Esch (left) and Dave Lefkow combined their business acumen and their love of bacon to develop the first run of Bacon Salt — peppered, hickory and original.

Contributed
Friends Justin Esch (left) and Dave Lefkow combined their business acumen and their love of bacon to develop the first run of Bacon Salt — peppered, hickory and original.

Riding a wave of a 40 percent increase in bacon consumption between 2002 and 2007, the two friends wanted to translate their love of the pork product into something that would make everything taste better.

“Our goal was making something that tasted like bacon frying on a Sunday morning,” Lefkow said.

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Food Network to feature Issaquah’s Bacon Salt founders

September 19, 2011

NEW — 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19, 2011

Food Network is poised to serve up Bacon Salt creators Justin Esch and Dave Lefkow in a show dedicated to the pleasures of the cured pork product.

The creators invented Bacon Salt and Baconnaise in Lefkow’s Issaquah kitchen and later founded J&D’s Foods to peddle the bacon condiments, Bacon Croutons, Bacon Soda, Bacon Lip Balm and other porcine products.

“Crave” on Food Network is set to feature the Bacon Salt creators in a bacon-themed episode — “Bacon: The Magical Meat Stick” — at 8:30 p.m. Monday and 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25. The episode is scheduled to be replayed throughout September, October and November.

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Spread the news — Baconnaise is delicious

October 15, 2008

Makers of BaconSalt invent new product

Dave Lefkow, of Issaquah, spreads his new product, Baconnaise, on fresh bread baked at QFC, where his product will be available Oct. 30. Photo by David Hayes.

Dave Lefkow, of Issaquah, spreads his new product, Baconnaise, on fresh bread baked at QFC, where his product will be available Oct. 30. By David Hayes.

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.”

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