How a Career Foodie Launched his Bacon Food Startup
Chef Eron Picus, founder of Cured & Crisp, a bacon-centric food business, has never worked a day of his life outside of the food industry. After him and his wife, Sarah began receiving endless calls asking to purchase the bacon they were serving at the parties they catered, it was Chef Eron’s decades of industry expertise that gave him the confidence to become his own boss and turn his incredible bacon into a thriving food business.
Today, the budding food brand is the featured sausage patty at Union Kitchen Grocery store sandwiches. Additionally, the unique bacon can be purchased, online and at retailers including Dent Place Market and TPSS Co-op. As the bacon business continues to grow, Chef Eron and Sarah have their eyes set on the future with a line of pork meatballs in the works.
Chef Eron is bringing bacon to the people, and not just in the traditional butcher shop or grocery store fashion, he is bringing it directly to their front doors. For the last 30 years, since graduating from culinary school in Hyde Park, New York, he has worked every job he could in the food industry to build his knowledge. "All I know how to do is make food and sell food," he tells us proudly. This passion combined with his decades of experience working with food led him to successfully scale his business and take on the roles of both chef and entrepreneur. While he spent the majority of his career working for other people, it was nine years ago, around the time that his daughter was born, that he launched his own catering company with his wife and business partner Sarah.
Chef Eron leveraged all of his culinary experience into his new company. He started experimenting with new recipes and dishes for his clients. He found the intersection between his passion and what people want, particularly, in his now famous bacon hors d'oeuvre. What started as one bacon-centric recipe spun into more and more pork dishes. Fast forward to a pork-filled menu and Cured & Crisp was born. Originally, Chef Eron’s approach was to sell direct to consumer and hand deliver all orders of bacon. Due to the rapid growth of the business they increased access points to grocery stores in the Washington, DC area, but if you are lucky you can still get bacon hand delivered by Chef Eron himself.
Today, Cured & Crisp has four unique bacon flavor profiles; Chinese Five Spice, Hibiscus Flower and Fennel, It Ain’t Pastrami It’s Bacon and Chef Eron's personal favorite, the Big Chris Bethany Beach Breakfast Bacon. Chef Eron's close friend, Chris, was getting ready for his annual summer trip to Bethany beach when he called Chef Eron and requested bacon seasoned with garlic, chilly, and maple syrup. Eron, never one to shy away from a bacon-challenge, immediately got to work. By the time Chris arrived, the new flavor of bacon was waiting for him.
Besides his willingness to experiment and try new flavors, the other key to his success is his wife Sarah. Chef Eron is a man of many stories, and like the Bethany beach bacon, the story of how he met his wife is just as whimsical and serendipitous. The two were set up on a blind date by their mothers, almost 13 years ago.
As Cured & Crisp continues to expand quickly, their partnership is essential to the success of the business. “Today, Sarah is the brains of the operations. She packs the bacon and is responsible for all things quality control and aesthetics.” With most of their date night dinner talk focused on what flavors combos could be their next product launch, the pair is taking on the bacon business as a family.
Whether you prefer a more traditional garlic seasoned bacon or something more unique like hibiscus flower, with availability in four Union Kitchen grocery stores in Washington, DC and online sales through their website you can find out why Cured & Crisp is the undeniably appealing bacon.