The Bacon Jams was started in late 2013, just launched its foodservice channel and is rapidly expanding! Mike Oraschewsky, Chief Executive Boar, took some time out of his day to tell us about how The Bacon Jams became the company it is today. Mike has his hands in almost everything The Bacon Jams does, from daily operations to marketing to head chef.
When and how did you get into food services?
I started bussing tables when I was 14 years old and worked in restaurants throughout high school and college. I worked my way from busboy to waiter to bartender to kitchen. Cooking and the foodservice industry is something that was always around me from a very young age. My father was a chef in his younger years, and his father was also a chef. Cooking is something that has been passed down through the family.
When did you start The Bacon Jams?
After college, I worked for a company for six months before quitting and opening my first restaurant at age 23. After 10 years of running this restaurant, I sold it and expanded in other directions in the food industry. It was right around this time that I was introduced to Bruce Kramer and his homemade bacon jam. First we used this recipe at my restaurant and it was so successful that, after narrowing it down to our three main flavors, we decided to create a Kickstarter to raise money for The Bacon Jams as its own independent company. Within the first 30 days of the Kickstarter campaign, we raised $15,000.
After our successful Kickstarter campaign, we hit the road and headed to The Virginia Beach Bacon Festival. We packed up the car, filling it with as much product as it could carry and came away from the event with an empty car. After this amazing event, we started to look for places to sell The Bacon Jams. I remember in the beginning days of The Bacon Jams being in the kitchen every night cooking bacon jam until the sun came up. We hit our stride and made a name for ourselves at the Love Park Christmas Village in Center City Philadelphia. Bundled up in the cold winter days and nights, we really started to sell substantial amounts of The Bacon Jams and spread the word of bacon jam goodness to the masses.
Where do you see The Bacon Jams going in the future?
I see The Bacon Jams as a regular item on every menu of every restaurant that cares about their customers. I also see it on the shelves of every gourmet retail store. This is something that we are already progressing with, as The Bacon Jams are sold in 46 states and distributed in over 500 retail locations.