Today I'm in New York City. Here's the back story.
A couple of decades ago, as the Soviet Union broke apart, a Polish farmer needed capital to invest in his family farm. Poland was capital-poor. His idea: come to America, work for 3 months, and go home with capital to make improvements.
He came, but he didn't go back. Instead, his family (without his parents) joined him here. That included a young son whose memories of Grandpa's farm and the meals were indelibly imprinted on his mind. This young son grew up and eventually joined a financial algorithm outfit in Manhattan. Then he married--a Polish lady.
Then he set out on a search to find foods that looked like, tasted like, and cooked like the foods of his childhood back in Poland. He searched in New York, Pennsylvania and other states. One day he learned about Polyface and in the early summer of 2018 he traveled to Virginia to attend a Lunatic Tour.
He listened to the resident lunatic's song and dance, bought some stuff from the farm store, and returned to Manhattan. As soon as he ate the samples, he knew his search was over. He'd found what he was looking for. A month later he returned with another Polish friend, an older wellness practitioner, to confirm and introduce our farm.
They bought some more samples and were both equally impressed. A couple of months later they both returned with a significant purchase, certain now that they had found the kind of food they'd enjoyed in the old country. But this purchase was different--it wasn't just packages. It included a whole hog carcass--yes, head, feet, the whole nine yards.
Meanwhile, he cleaned out a garage, found a cheap used sausage grinder and some tables, started watching do-it-yourself butchery YouTube videos, and prepared to process his first pig. His family and friends convened on the garage and turned the pig reception into a shindig, cutting, grinding, packing. And big time fun.
A couple of months later, he returned for 3 hogs, lots of other things, and explained that others were jumping on the train. And he asked me if I'd come to NYC to speak to his whole office. Like many businesses, his office offers an occasional enrichment speech, normally by a financial expert. But he's so passionate about his discovery, he approached the powers that be about having me come and do a presentation about pasture-based livestock for meat and poultry.
The powers that be contacted me and agreed. So here I am, in NYC, in the middle of the financial district, talking to financial algorithm geeks about saving the world's ecological, economic, and emotional health with pasture-based agriculture. The speech will be live-streamed to affiliate offices; the one where I'll be has about 75 employees.
I'm stoked about this because in all the podcasts and media interviews I do, the greatest skepticism about scalability and widespread adoption comes from the hyper-urban mentality: "but what if I live in New York City" is the ultimate skeptic's litmus test on credibility. What this young customer has demonstrated is that if you really want truth, you can find it.
But beyond that, he's willing to let others piggyback, which means now others can jump on his trip. Perhaps Polyface will even deliver. The city is only 5 hours away and a straight shot, without warehousing: at scale it's definitely efficient. It's just a numbers game, and this young authentic food seeker is blazing a new option not just for himself, but for the entire city.
Let's see, how much authentic pastured animals would it take to feed New York City? Wouldn't it be cool for all of that to come from soil-building, animal-respecting, non-factory farms?