Bacon in a bottle: It's "holy" to fans
Word-of-mouth has transformed J&D's Bacon Salt from a fun idea among friends to the condiment of desire for bacon lovers around the...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Word-of-mouth has transformed J&D's Bacon Salt from a fun idea among friends to the condiment of desire for bacon lovers around the country and beyond.
Its fanbase — which includes college-basketball devotees, online gamers, food bloggers, World Wrestling Enertainment viewers and Marines in Iraq — has rallied around the new bacon-flavored seasoning from Seattle in chat rooms, youtube.com videos and on blogs.
"They've taken it up almost like a holy cause," co-founder Justin Esch marveled.
Since July, Seattle-area creators Esch, Dave Lefkow and Kara Gibson have sold 20,000 bottles at $4.49 a pop via baconsalt.com. Now it's being stocked in meat and fish markets, major grocery chains, including QFC, and online retail giant Amazon.com.
The trio of former tech workers was nursing drinks in a bar last winter when Esch suggested combining two of their favorite ingredients: bacon and salt.
"My first reaction was, 'There's no way that's not invented,' " Lefkow said.
"We Googled him wrong," Esch said.
After failed attempts cooking some up in Lefkow's kitchen, they worked with food technicians to perfect the texture and flavor. The result is a seasoning sans calories, fat and actual bacon that delivers an intense hit of flavor that Lefkow prefers to the mess of frying up bacon itself. Miraculously, Bacon Salt also is vegetarian and kosher (the hickory flavor is even vegan). The product and its packaging are manufactured in the Northwest.
With no advertising budget and few food brokers willing to take a chance on an unknown product, they opted instead to mail bottles to food blogs, family and friends and created Bacon Salt profiles on social networking sites MySpace.com and Facebook.com.
The gambit worked. The first week drew 800 orders for original, hickory and peppered Bacon Salt. One customer in Texas ordered 36 jars.
"That's when we realized this is now a full-time project," Lefkow said.
So far, Bacon Salt is seasoning scrambled eggs, steak, green beans, popcorn and French fries in all 50 states and more than 20 countries.
"My savior has arrived," read a post on Seattle-based food blog iheartbacon.com. "and its name is Bacon Salt."
Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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